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Experience-based learning in innovation and production

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How can we model and document the impact of experience in product innovation? We use data on the innovation and production histories of 294 product platforms to explore experience-based learning. We extend learning curve concepts from their traditional domain – the production process – into the product innovation process to build and test a richer, quantitative model of learning. The results suggest that learning occurs differently in the innovation process than in production. They also suggest that how and where a firm learns depend in part on the complexity of product components and sub-systems. Finally, we discuss the competitive implications for product innovation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Walker College of Business, 4066 Raley Hall, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608, USA., Email: 2: Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK., Email:

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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