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Innovation capability: a systematic literature review

Andrea Mendoza-Silva (EGADE Business School, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 10 June 2020

Issue publication date: 27 May 2021




Innovation is considered an important stage in the process of competitiveness of companies. While there is an extensive literature in the management and innovation field that shows the characteristics that enhance a firm's ability to innovate, there is still no consensus on its determinants and nature. This study aims to advance the understanding of innovation capability (IC) by conducting a systematic review of relevant literature at the firm level.


The study reviews the literature by applying the categorization and contextualization of qualitative strategies. The study gathered 137 peer-reviewed papers from Scopus and Web of Science databases.


The papers were analysed and synthesized into an integrated framework that links IC with its internal and external determinants, and its consequences. In doing this, this study proposes directions for future investigations that might enlighten a better understanding of IC.

Practical implications

The study provides elements that can be useful during the design and implementation of innovative initiatives in a firm.


The paper jointly examines in the same model the nature, antecedents and consequences of IC. In the same vein, the framework provides the little-researched links between those themes in the IC literature.



The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.


Mendoza-Silva, A. (2021), "Innovation capability: a systematic literature review", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 707-734.



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