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What do we have in-common? Overcoming the not-invented-here syndrome through recategorisation

: Weissenberger-Eibl, Marion A.; Hampel, Tim


International journal of innovation management 25 (2021), No.6, Art. 2150070, 33 pp.
ISSN: 1363-9196
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Not-invented-here syndrome; open innovation; knowledge transfer; Attitude change; Decision-making biases

The not-invented-here (NIH) syndrome describes a negatively-shaped attitude of employees towards externally generated knowledge. Despite being cited as one of the largest barriers in the transfer of external knowledge, empirical evidence on interventions to overcome NIH remains scarce. To address this research gap, we design a brief and specificrecategorisational-intervention on basis of the common in-group identity model in order to change employees’ attitudes towards external knowledge directly. Additionally, we take into account the effects of affirmations as a frequently mentioned countermeasure to NIH and also investigate the role of dual identities in recategorisation. To test our hypothesis, we conducted a large field experiment with a total of 1,097 employees within a multinational organisation. Results revealed that (I) organisational identification and status are positively related to higher levels of NIH, (II) a recategorisational-intervention completely removes the NIH bias and leads to a significant increase in the evaluation of external knowledge.