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Absorptive capacity, cluster linkages, and innovation: An evidence from Bengaluru high-tech manufacturing cluster

Deepak Chandrashekar (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India)
Bala Subrahmanya Mungila Hillemane (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 14 December 2017

Issue publication date: 2 January 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the key determinants of innovation performance of a firm in a cluster. This paper probes the role of absorptive capacity in furthering the cluster linkages and thereby enhancing the innovation performance of a firm.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts stratified random sampling technique to choose sample firms from the identified population of firms in a cluster. Further, it employs primary data collection method to collect data from sample firms through a semi-structured questionnaire based in-depth interviews with the top level management of sample firms. It uses multiple linear regression (MLR) techniques to ascertain the influence of absorptive capacity on degree of cluster linkages (both intra-cluster and extra-cluster linkages), and degree of cluster linkages (both intra-cluster and extra-cluster linkages) on innovation performance of a firm.

Findings

On the one hand, internal factors of absorptive capacity of a firm have a significant positive influence on the degrees of both intra-cluster linkages and extra-cluster linkages. On the other hand, external factors of absorptive capacity of a firm significantly impact the degree of intra-cluster linkages (DICL). But, they have no significant influence on the degree of extra-cluster linkages (DECL). Further, both the DICL and the DECL drive innovation performance of a firm in a cluster. Notably, subsidiaries of externally based firms exhibit superior innovation performance compared to those firms based in a cluster.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the extant literature in two ways. First, it empirically validates the effect of absorptive capacity of a firm on its degree of cluster linkages (both intra-cluster and extra-cluster linkages) taking into account both internal and external factors of absorptive capacity. Second, it ascertains the influence of degree of cluster linkages (both intra-cluster and extra-cluster linkages) on the innovation performance of a firm in a cluster.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend their gratitude to Professor Harm-Jan Steenhuis for his timely guidance to see through the entire process of the publication. The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive review comments to enhance the quality of the paper.

Citation

Chandrashekar, D. and Mungila Hillemane, B.S. (2018), "Absorptive capacity, cluster linkages, and innovation: An evidence from Bengaluru high-tech manufacturing cluster", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 121-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-05-2017-0087

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited