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Lone inventors and technological novelty

Conference contribution
Authors Daniel Ljungberg
Published in DRUID Society Conference, June 12-14 2017 New York
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)
Department of Economy and Society
Language en
Subject categories Economics and Business


Drawing on an evolutionary perspective on creativity and invention, together with group creativity literature, this paper proposes that lone inventors, being those inventors who work alone and/or are organizationally independent, have an advantage when it comes to generating technological novelty. This proposition is tested on a database of more than one million USPTO patents, applied for between 1986 and 2002. The proposition is overall supported, with the findings showing that especially independent, but also single, inventors have an advantage when it comes to novelty creation as opposed to teams or organizations. The results also indicate that the technological complexity of the invention moderates the studied relationships: Single and independent inventors lose their relatively higher probability of generating novelty under higher complexity.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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