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Not invented here

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not invented here (NIH) is the tendency to avoid using or buying products, research, standards, or knowledge from external origins. It is usually adopted by social, corporate, or institutional cultures. Research illustrates a strong bias against ideas from the outside.[1]

The reasons for not wanting to use the work of others are varied, but can include a desire to support a local economy instead of paying royalties to a foreign license-holder, fear of patent infringement, lack of understanding of the foreign work, an unwillingness to acknowledge or value the work of others, jealousy, belief perseverance, or forming part of a wider turf war.[2] As a social phenomenon, this tendency can manifest itself as an unwillingness to adopt an idea or product because it originates from another culture, a form of tribalism[3] and/or an inadequate effort in choosing the right approach for the business.[4]

The term is typically used in a pejorative sense. The opposite predisposition is sometimes called "proudly found elsewhere" (PFE)[5] or "invented elsewhere".

Scientific study[edit]

A 1982 study by Ralph Katz and Thomas J. Allen provides empirical evidence for the "not invented here" syndrome, showing that the performance of R&D project groups declines after about five years, which they attribute to the groups becoming increasingly insular and communicating less with key information sources outside the group.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Piezunka, Henning; Dahlander, Linus (26 June 2014). "Distant Search, Narrow Attention: How Crowding Alters Organizations' Filtering of Suggestions in Crowdsourcing". Academy of Management Journal. 58 (3): 856–880. doi:10.5465/amj.2012.0458.
  2. ^ Webb, Nicholas J.; Thoen, Chris (2010). The Innovation Playbook: A Revolution in Business Excellence. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-63796-8.
  3. ^ Floud, Roderick; Johnson, Paul, eds. (2003). The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain. Vol. 3. Cambridge University Press. p. 100. ISBN 9780521527385.
  4. ^ Hagler, Bo (2020-03-04). "Build Vs. Buy: Why Most Businesses Should Buy Their Next Software Solution". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  5. ^ Huston, Larry; Sakkab, Nabil (2006-03-20). "P&G's New Innovation Model". hbswk.hbs.edu. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  6. ^ Katz, Ralph; Allen, Thomas J. (January 1982). "Investigating the Not Invented Here (NIH) syndrome: A look at the performance, tenure, and communication patterns of 50 R & D Project Groups". R&D Management. 12 (1): 7–20. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9310.1982.tb00478.x. ISSN 0033-6807.