Evolution of R&D capabilities: The role of knowledge networks within a firm

Atul Nerkar, Srikanth Paruchuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

313 Scopus citations


In this paper, we suggest that the characteristics of individual positions in an intraorganizational network of inventors or intrafirm knowledge network predict the likelihood with which knowledge created by an inventor is used in the firm's research and development (R&D) activities. Such choices lead to path dependence and subsequent specialization. We provide empirical evidence that a firm's R&D is concentrated in those areas where it chooses to recombine knowledge, offering support for the path-dependent evolution of capabilities. We test this theory by analyzing the R&D networks in DuPont, a highly regarded Fortune 500 chemical company. Cox Proportional Regression models of intrafirm citations on network characteristics offer strong empirical support for our theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-785
Number of pages15
JournalManagement Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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