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Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli ( Politecnico di Bari ) (Webinar)

25 November 2021 @ 12:30 - 13:30


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25 November 2021
12:30 - 13:30
Event Category:
Academic Events

Making the old new again: old knowledge and the recombinant view of innovation”


Abstract. A growing body of scholarly research has focused on the temporal dimension of the knowledge recombination process underlying innovation. However, these studies have underestimated the potential benefits and challenges of recombining knowledge from the distant past for innovation. In this paper, we present a longitudinal in-depth case study of Aboca, a healthcare firm that routinely rediscovers and uses centuries-old herbal medicines as a distinctive source of innovation. Our study reveals a process model of knowledge recombination unfolding in three phases – recovering, reviving, and renewing – each characterized by specific practices and competences that allow Aboca to recognize and purposefully use historical threads for innovation purposes. Our findings offer important implications for the temporal dimension of the knowledge recombination process, shedding new light on the value of historical knowledge, and calling for greater attention to historical consciousness in innovation.