International Journal of Innovation and Business Strategy

Benefits and Drawbacks of Innovation and Imitation

Written by James M. Bloodgood.

Organizations seeking competitive advantage often rely on a combination of innovation and imitation to improve their capabilities and performance. Differences in proportions of innovation and imitation used in industry, as well as the type of imitation, can have organizational and industry implications that have not been adequately addressed. This paper aims to capture the characteristics associated with independent innovation, social-based imitation, and skill-based imitation within industries in order to more clearly portray the effects on organizations and industries over time. Based on assumptions from the resource-based view and the awareness, motivation, capability perspective, the analysis identifies differences in the type and variance of innovations that spread throughout different types of industries.

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