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Radical innovation from relations‐based knowledge: empirical evidence in Spanish technology‐intensive firms

Miriam Delgado‐Verde (Assistant Professor, based in the Business Administration Department, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
José Emilio Navas‐López (Professor, based in the Business Administration Department, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Jorge Cruz‐González (PhD Candidate, based in the Business Administration Department, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.)
Javier Amores‐Salvadó (Assistant Professor, based in the Business Administration Department, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 13 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The present paper seeks to provide a new insight into intellectual capital classification by theoretically and empirically differentiating relations‐based knowledge into social capital and relational capital. Additionally, taking into account the key role played by radical innovation to compete in the context defined by the “knowledge‐based economy”, the aim is to empirically investigate the possible effect of both relations‐based intellectual capital components on the development of this kind of innovation by firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from a questionnaire responded to by 251 Spanish high and medium‐high tech firms. Based on their answers, exploratory factor analysis and regression analysis are carried out.

Findings

As theoretically proposed, relations‐based intellectual capital can be separated into social and relational capital, with social capital as the main component. Both elements have a significantly positive influence on radical innovation developed by firms in the sample, although those relationships maintained with external agents seem to have a higher impact.

Originality/value

The research contributes to the intellectual capital field by integrating the arguments provided by social capital literature and empirically separating relations‐based knowledge into two differentiated components. The paper also contributes to the knowledge management field by highlighting the important role played by knowledge emerging from relationships around the firm (both internal and external) in the development of radical innovation, whose antecedents have received little attention in the literature.

Keywords

Citation

Delgado‐Verde, M., Emilio Navas‐López, J., Cruz‐González, J. and Amores‐Salvadó, J. (2011), "Radical innovation from relations‐based knowledge: empirical evidence in Spanish technology‐intensive firms", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 722-737. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673271111174294

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited