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Linking technologies to applications - insights from online markets for technology


Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Authors / Editors

Dushnitsky G;Klueter T


Publication Year



An important precondition for resource redeployment is that firms are aware of the commercial applications for which their resources can be used. We take an inventing-firm perspective and ask: how many new commercial applications will a firm associate with an existing technological invention? We note that both technological and organizational characteristics determine the number of distinct applications firms consider feasible for a given technological invention. In particular, we suggest that inherently fungible technologies, that is, technologies that have a broad impact on other technological fields (highly general technologies), will be associated with a larger set of commercial applications. We also suggest that linking applications to an inherently general technology can be challenging when the technology is already embedded in organizational (commercial) routines. Proprietary data from an online marketplace allow us to investigate the applications firms consider feasible for their technological inventions. In line with extant work, a firm assigns a greater number of applications to more general technologies. As expected, however, this relationship is shaped by how the technology is embedded within the organization. Our results have implications for redeployment as firms may face challenges in the initial step of redeployment when fungible resources need to be linked to emerging market opportunities.

Available on ECCH


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