Current Research

Managing innovation efficiency in a knowledge-based economy: Hybrid strategies for variation and selection and the role of organizational capabilities


Organizations’ capabilities to utilize knowledge for innovation purposes are crucial for firms’ competitiveness and profitability and, thus, for a country’s prosperity. This is particularly relevant for developed countries and, even more so, for countries without natural resources such as Switzerland, where growth and economic development depend strongly on innovation. Moreover, to innovate efficiently is a strong concern of firms as it epitomizes sustainable competitive advantage. While firms may innovate and solve related problems in varied ways, the more efficient will use less time, effort, and other resources to do so.

Innovation is inherently based on variation and selection which are attained by divergent or convergent knowledge creation and cognitive or experiential evaluation, respectively. This research, however, is based on the idea that efficient innovation results from a synthesized divergence and convergence of knowledge for variation and a joint cognitive and experiential evaluation for selection. Organizations can attain those dualities by deploying hybrid strategies. Both hybrid strategies, however, are afflicted with conflicting demands. Accordingly, this research is concerned with the question: What are organizational capabilities to reconcile these conflicting demands?