Chapter

Inventors as Innovators and Knowledge Integrators

Hans Andersson and Christian Berggren

in Knowledge Integration and Innovation

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693924
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730580 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693924.003.0004
Inventors as Innovators and Knowledge Integrators

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In this chapter, we argue that knowledge integration is not just an organizational- and team-level practice but concerns the everyday activities of inventive engineers and researchers involved in development activities. The chapter investigates and illustrates how inventive individuals in non-managerial positions contribute to innovation and knowledge integration. The focus is on inventors who generate ideas and scan new knowledge fields to complement deep knowledge in their own domains in order to turn ideas into new solutions. The chapter illustrates the practices of those innovative individuals, such as combining knowledge across different fields, pursuing individual exploration as well as collaborative search, and participating in formal projects but simultaneously using them as permeable entities to further their own innovative ideas. In this way, the chapter contributes to an understanding of the micro-level of knowledge integration activities in technology-based firms.

Keywords: knowledge integration; inventors; innovators; micro-foundations; individuals

Chapter.  9046 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Innovation

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