Studies have shown that actors who affiliate with multiple categories generally do so at their own peril. Still, category spanning is routinely observed, although it is less understood. We address this gap by a longitudinal study of category spanning among nanotube technology inventors. Our results highlight the importance of the evolving structure of category relationships, actor embeddedness within the structure, and interactions with other factors, including the attractiveness of related categories. When a category is relationally similar to others, associated inventors are more likely to engage in category spanning, whereas when a category is dissimilar, inventors are more likely to remain within it.
Wry, T. and Castor, A.R. (2017), "Opportunity, Status, and Similarity: Exploring the Varied Antecedents and Outcomes of Category Spanning Innovation", From Categories to Categorization: Studies in Sociology, Organizations and Strategy at the Crossroads (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 51), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 355-389. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20170000051010Download as .RIS
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