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Influence of basic research investment on corporate performance: Exploring the moderating effect of human capital structure

Malin Song (Research Center of Statistics for Management, Anhui University of Finance and Economics, Bengbu, China)
Xiongfeng Pan (Faculty of Management and Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)
Xianyou Pan (Faculty of Management and Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)
Zhiming Jiao (Faculty of Management and Economics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 5 October 2018

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019

727

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to add to the existing research about how corporate performance is influenced by their basic research (BR) investment. On this basis, the authors examined the moderating effect of human capital structure (HCS) on the relationship between BR investment and corporate performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested using static and dynamic models to analyze a large-scale data of Chinese A-share listed companies.

Findings

This study provides empirical evidence that contributes to the research about how private BR investment influences corporate performance in the digital age. In addition, human resource is an important dynamic ability for enterprise development. Based on the dynamic capability theory, further research finds that the human resources practice on the knowledge stock can enhance the company’s dynamic capability, thereby enhancing the company’s core competitiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The results may be affected by the context of the data set. This study considers the influence of private research investment type on corporate performance, further studies considering the influence of specific contextual variables, such as corporate industry differences, could yield richer insights that would help validate the results of this study.

Practical implications

This study provides useful information for managers. As well as increasing the investment in the BR of enterprise and creating the necessary conditions to increase the competitiveness of enterprise, they should strive to adjust the structure and quality of researchers involved in BR projects.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the enterprise’s BR investment and the management of human capital resource. It points that the investment of BR positively influences the corporate performance. In addition, the increasing of high-skilled labor’s proportion positively promotes the promotion of BR investment on corporate performance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank anonymous referees and editors for their very constructive comments on the initial draft of the paper, and the work was support by the National Natural Science Foundation Project (Grant No. 71303029), Major Projects in Philosophy and Social Science Research from the Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. 14JZD031), Dalian Science and Technology Plan Project (2015D12ZC176), and Dalian Youth Science and Technology Star Breeding Plan Project (2016RQ004). However, the authors are responsible for any errors.

Citation

Song, M., Pan, X., Pan, X. and Jiao, Z. (2019), "Influence of basic research investment on corporate performance: Exploring the moderating effect of human capital structure", Management Decision, Vol. 57 No. 8, pp. 1839-1856. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-06-2018-0708

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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