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Knowledge search strategies and corporate entrepreneurship: evidence from China's high-tech firms

Jiangfeng Ye (Anhui University, Hefei, China)
Yingna Jiang (Anhui University, Hefei, China)
Bin Hao (East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China)
Yanan Feng (University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 12 October 2021

Issue publication date: 8 March 2023




This study aims to explore the impact of search breadth and depth on corporate entrepreneurship (CE) through the mediating effect of opportunity discovery under the consideration of the technological environmental dynamism as a moderating factor.


This study adopts a quantitative method, collecting 246 questionnaires from high-tech firms in the national industrial park of the Yangtze River Delta zone in China. The authors examine the hypotheses using multiple hierarchical regressions and conduct Sobel and bootstrapping tests to further assess the mediating and moderated mediating effects of the variables.


The results indicate that both the relationship between search breadth and CE and the relationship between search depth and CE are mediated by opportunity discovery. The authors further show that technological environmental dynamism positively moderates the indirect effect of knowledge search breadth on CE and negatively moderates the indirect effect of knowledge search depth and CE.


This study provides a valuable theoretical framework for entrepreneurship literature by differentiating the effects of search depth and search breadth on the promotion of CE in established firms and pioneers the examination of the mediating role of opportunity discovery and the moderating role of technological environmental dynamism in these links as well.



Funding: This research was conducted with the support of National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71972002, 71602002, 72002001), Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (Grant No. 2108085Y25, 2008085QG339). All four authors contributed equally.


Ye, J., Jiang, Y., Hao, B. and Feng, Y. (2023), "Knowledge search strategies and corporate entrepreneurship: evidence from China's high-tech firms", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 564-587.



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