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Clustering and internal resources: moderation and mediation effects

José Antonio Belso‐Martínez (Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Alicante, Spain)
F. Xavier Molina‐Morales (Full Professor in the Department of Business Administration, Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Castelló, Spain)
Francisco Mas‐Verdu (Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universitat Politècnica València (UPV), Valencia, Spain)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




This paper aims to address a central question in strategy: how do internal resources firms mediate the effect of the external resources on the firms' performance?


The research was conducted in a sample of 173 Spanish innovative firms located in the Valencia region. Following the literature, the growth of the firm has been used as the main performance indicator. The paper considers the application in this context of the particular and new analysis techniques to combine mediator and moderator effects.


The research shows firms with higher internal resources exploit better external resources. The results confirm that knowledge intensive business services providers, as a form of external resources, exercise a positive influence on innovative firms' performance through the mediating effect of firms' internal assets.

Research limitations/implications

First, the study uses only two well‐known internal resources and capabilities indicators. Second, the paper applies a strict and simple measure to the growth of innovative firms. Third, another limitation of this research relates to the sample and population of companies.

Practical implications

The study shows that the partial mediating effect exercised by internal resources and capabilities on growth, becomes more intense when new firms benefit from cluster location.


This study represents a new step toward closing the analytical gap in the existing literature on the potential interactions between external resources and new firm's internal attributes, and their combined effects on performance.



Belso‐Martínez, J.A., Xavier Molina‐Morales, F. and Mas‐Verdu, F. (2011), "Clustering and internal resources: moderation and mediation effects", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 738-758.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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