The role of resources in recombinations and the degree of novelty of products

Juan Pablo Camani


Objective of the study: To explain the characteristics and dynamics of resources and recombinations associated with developing products with low and high novelty.

Methodology/Approach: The method was an integrative review of the literature on recombinant innovation. It included a creative synthesis that resulted in a theoretical model. 

Originality/Relevance: The research addresses topics the literature neglects, like explaining which resources and recombinations and why could relate to high or low product novelty.

Main results: Certain features of resources (i.e., heterogeneity, specificity, accessibility) with high and low levels may differently influence costs, variety, and frequency of recombinations and, in turn, product novelty. To develop highly novel products, tangible resources, and internally produced new resources may be essential, as knowledge by itself may not be sufficient.

Theoretical contributions: Different resource characteristics and their influence on recombinations may help explain whether a product will have low or high novelty. By going beyond the novel recombinations, the research expands the literature's understanding of recombinations and product novelty.

Managerial contributions: Companies could assess ex ante which degree of product novelty besides types and costs of recombinations would result from their pools of resources. This assessment would make innovation more efficient for companies with fewer resources, like may occur in emerging markets.


Resources; Innovation; Products; Degree of novelty; Recombinations.

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