The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of online social networks and competency-based management on innovation capability.
The paper is theory-confirming. Theoretical relationships were tested using an empirical study of 289 firms from the Spanish biotechnology and telecommunications industries.
Results confirm that online social network use for internal cognitive processes (e.g. reading, searching and storing information) and external cognitive processes (e.g. sharing and co-creating knowledge) positively affects knowledge transfer. This knowledge helps firms to achieve superior competency in R&D to succeed in innovation programs.
All survey respondents were from Spain, which may limit the generalizability of findings. A longitudinal approach was not used. However, doing so would make it possible to explore time lags between online social network use, competency-based management and innovation.
This paper highlights the potential as well as the limitations of online social networks and competency-based management in promoting innovation capability. Businesses must consciously manage the assimilation and use of online social networks to benefit from them.
The study contributes to the literature by identifying effects on innovation capability at the meso-level (i.e. online social networks). Findings highlight the need for a shift in focus away from collaborating and interacting in online social networks (micro-level) and organizational contexts (macro-level) so as to improve innovation capability.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (DER2012-39223-C02-02).
Palacios-Marqués, D., Popa, S. and Pilar Alguacil Mari, M. (2016), "The effect of online social networks and competency-based management on innovation capability", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 499-511. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-05-2015-0175Download as .RIS
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