The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between two types of open innovation (OI) strategies (OI breadth and depth) and innovation performance of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China. The study examines how firms’ absorptive capacity and government institutional support affect these relationships.
Survey data from 236 manufacturing SMEs in China were used to test the proposed model using hierarchical regression analysis.
The results show that both OI breadth and depth are positively related to innovation performance of SMEs. Moreover, this study finds that realized absorptive capacity serves as a mediator in the relationships between OI breadth and depth and innovation performance. The potential absorptive capacity and government institutional support moderate the relationship between OI breadth and innovation performance.
The effectiveness of OI strategies is significantly different among SMEs. One possible explanation is that SMEs adopt different types of OI strategies. Another is that a firm’s absorptive capacity and government institutional support may influence the effectiveness of OI. This study integrates these two possible reasons by investigating the effect of the interplay between different OI strategies, absorptive capacity and government institutional support on SMEs’ innovation performance. This study enriches the research on the relationships between OI strategies and innovation performance of SMEs in the Chinese context.
Research funding: The work is supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China with the project number: 16AZD006.
Lu, C., Yu, B., Zhang, J. and Xu, D. (2020), "Effects of open innovation strategies on innovation performance of SMEs: evidence from China", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/CMS-01-2020-0009Download as .RIS
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