Technology brokering in action: revolutionizing the skiing and tennis industries

Technology brokering in action: revolutionizing the skiing and tennis industries
Document type
Laudone, Robert; Liguori, Eric W.; Muldoon, Jeffrey
Date of publication
1 January 2015
Journal of Management History. Vol. 21; Number 1
Business & management history: including the development of management thought
Business and management
Material type

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This paper aims to explore the true sources of innovation that revolutionized two sports industries – skiing and tennis, tracking the flow of ideas and power of technology brokering through the eyes of the innovator, Howard Head. Design/methodology/approach: using a focal innovation action-set framework, the authors unite heretofore-disparate pieces of information to paint a more complete picture of the innovation and technology brokering process. Primary source material from Head’s patents, personal memoirs and journals and documented correspondence between him, his brother and his colleagues are augmented with secondary source material from periodicals, media excerpts and the academic literature. Findings: head stands as an exemplar example of a technology broker, both through his serial practice of recombinant innovation and his savvy exploitation of resources. Results discredit the Great Man Theory of Innovation, while emphasizing the importance of exploiting social capital to realize opportunities.

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