Article ID: 0221130a
Crossref Funder ID: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001691Grant/Award number:
Based on a detailed case study of a Japanese venture firm, this study suggests that the unconscious routines practiced by entrepreneurs in innovation processes are critical. Research on organizational routines has asserted the following two points. First, when existing routines become proficient distant searches of new fields become difficult (Levitt & March, 1988; March, 1991) (the exploration problem). Second, existing routines tend to be lost during distant searches as they are impossible to combine with the outcomes of the distant searches to make new routines (Gavetti & Levinthal, 2000; Levinthal & Rerup, 2006) (the fusion problem). Nevertheless, Takao Kimura and Kimura Information Technology Co., Ltd. (KIT), discussed in this study, have succeeded in overcoming such problems to create a business with a competitive advantage. Our analysis of this process shows that if the existing routines are so proficient that they are practiced unconsciously, (1) it can help distant searches, and (2) the outcomes of the distant searches can be combined with existing routines.