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Proximity and regional innovation performance: the mediating role of absorptive capacity

Shuliang Zhao (School of Public Affairs, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)
Junchen Wang (School of Public Affairs, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Article publication date: 7 May 2024

46

Abstract

Purpose

Proximity is a crucial factor influencing innovation collaboration and performance. Most existing studies have primarily focused on the organizational level and been static in nature. Therefore, a further study on how proximity affects innovation performance is needed. This paper aims to fill this gap by highlighting the organizational, cognitive and geographical proximity in China’s open regional innovation system.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyzes the data from 2010 to 2015 through path analysis.

Findings

The results reveal that geographical proximity has a direct positive effect on regional innovation performance in China’s regional innovation system. It also shows that organizational proximity exerts a negative impact on absorptive capacity, and through it adversely affects regional innovation performance. In contrast, cognitive proximity is found to have a positive effect on absorptive capacity, enhancing regional innovation performance.

Originality/value

Based on these findings, this paper contributes to a better understanding of the role of proximity in innovation collaboration and performance. By highlighting the importance of different proximity types, it provides insights for policymakers and practitioners seeking to foster regional innovation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the USTC Funding for Featured Liberal Arts (FSSF-S-220204). At the same time, the authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to Editor, Prof. PATRICIA ORDOÑEZ DE PABLOS, and the four anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments, which has improved the quality of this research.

Citation

Zhao, S. and Wang, J. (2024), "Proximity and regional innovation performance: the mediating role of absorptive capacity", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTPM-12-2022-0208

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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