Reference : Innovation Search Strategy and Predictable Returns
Scientific journals : Article
Business & economic sciences : Strategy & innovation
Innovation Search Strategy and Predictable Returns
Fitzgerald, Tristan [University of Texas at Austin]
Balsmeier, Benjamin mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Center for Research in Economic Analysis (CREA) >]
Fleming, Lee []
Manso, Gustavo []
Management Science
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
United States
[en] Exploration ; Innovation ; Patents
[en] Because of the intangible and highly uncertain nature of innovation, investors may have difficulty processing information associated with a firm’s innovation search strategy. Due to cognitive and strategic biases, investors are likely to pay more attention to unfamiliar explorative patents rather than incremental exploitative patents. We find that innovative firms focusing on exploitation rather than exploration tend to generate superior subsequent short-term operating performance. Analysts do not seem to detect this, as firms currently focused on exploitation tend to outperform the market’s near-term earnings expectations. The stock market also seems unable to accurately incorporate information about a firm’s innovation search strategy. We find that firms with exploitation strategies are undervalued relative to firms with exploration strategies and that this return differ-ential is incremental to standard risk and innovation-based pricing factors examined in the prior literature. This result suggests a more nuanced view on whether stock market pressure hampers innovation, and may have implications for optimal firm financing choices and corporate disclosure policy.

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