My previously in press paper — “Serendipity Arrangements for Exapting Science-Based Innovations” — co-authored with Raghu Garud (Pennsylvania State University) and Antonio Paco Giuliani (IÉSEG School of Management), was published in the Academy of Management Perspectives. The paper is part of a special symposium on “Rethinking the Commercialization of Public Science: From Entrepreneurial Outcomes to Societal Impacts” edited by Riccardo Fini, Einar Rasmussen, Donald Siegel, and Johan Wiklund.
The paper builds on our 2016 paper — “Technological Exaptation: A Narrative Approach” — published in Industrial and Corporate Change. Whereas extant literature draws attention to the importance of science-push, demand-pull, and institutional-steering as mechanisms driving science-based innovations, in this paper we highlight exaptation, which refers to the cooptation of existing traits for new functions. When applied to science-based innovations, exaptation refers to the emergence of functionalities for scientific discoveries that were unanticipated ex ante. We explore how exaptation can be induced through narrative properties (relationality, temporality, and performativity), and how serendipity arrangements such as exaptive pools, exaptive events, and exaptive forums can be structured to maintain, activate and contextualize scientific discoveries. We close the paper by discussing the implications of exaptation for academia, industry, and policy.
Final Citation: Garud, R., Gehman, J. & Giuliani, A.P. 2018. Serendipity Arrangements for Exapting Science-Based Innovations. Academy of Management Perspectives. 32:125-140. doi:10.5465/amp.2016.0138. Publicly available via Research Gate and SSRN.