Control, learning, and innovation : a syncretic approach
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This research focuses on understanding the processes involved in successful innovation---a topic that has appeared in a large body of research, but no conclusive trend has emerged about it. For this reason, I chose a different lens in order to gain a more panoramic view of the events leading up to an innovation. In particular, this research utilized a methodology and ontology that set it apart from previous work. In previous research control/exploitation and learning/exploration are either presented as two categorically separate concepts or as continuum that runs between them. This research supports the idea that innovation operates on a continuum but does not support the idea that it only occurs when the pendulum settles toward the learning/exploration side. Instead, the data shows that innovation could indeed occur at any point along the learning/exploration side of the continuum and even at the central point where learning/exploration and control/exploitation weigh evenly. To conceptualize this middle point, I term this a "syncretism" of two normally opposing forces to account for a significant portion of the interview data.