Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

Waste Reduction Strategies: Less Is More

    Managers across a range of industries develop process innovations by searching for solutions across different knowledge sources. Although searching across a greater number of different knowledge sources positively increases the likelihood of developing innovations, it has also been shown to raise challenges in identifying viable solutions. Because of these tradeoffs, a key initial choice is the number of independent knowledge sources to investigate. Our results indicate that for the average firm it is optimal to investigate just one knowledge source; investigating more knowledge sources decreases process innovation performance. Further, process innovation performance improves as the facility and, intriguingly, key individuals gain experience. We study this question in the context of the U.S. manufacturing facilities from 1995 to 2005 where we examine how facilities identify ways to reduce their annual toxic waste output.

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