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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2020

Hui Gao, Xiu-Hao Ding and Suming Wu

More enterprises adopt open innovation by breaking technological or organizational boundaries to seek internal and external knowledge when they face a fiercely competitive…

Abstract

Purpose

More enterprises adopt open innovation by breaking technological or organizational boundaries to seek internal and external knowledge when they face a fiercely competitive environment, complex market demands, and increasingly rapid technological change. In this context, a knowledge search strategy is regarded as an effective means of obtaining inside and outside resources and an important way to break the innovation bottleneck. Moreover, information technology (IT) is deemed an important asset for sourcing knowledge, whereas absorptive capacity is seen as an indispensable ability for utilizing novel knowledge. Thus, this paper aims to test the role of knowledge search in open innovation and examine the mediating effect of absorptive capacity and the moderating effect of IT capability.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 1,088 Chinese firms’ data collected by the World Bank in 2012, this paper employs logistic regression to test the hypotheses.

Findings

This study finds that local and boundary-spanning search strategies positively influence both product and process innovation, and absorptive capacity has a mediating role in the relationships between knowledge search and product and process innovation. Moreover, IT capability has a positive moderating effect on the relationship between local search and innovation performance; however, IT capability strengthens the relationship between boundary-spanning search and process innovation while weakens that between boundary-spanning search and product innovation.

Originality/value

This study explores the impact of different knowledge search behaviors on different types of innovation and probes the role of absorptive capacity and IT capability in mediating and moderating the above relationships. By drawing on knowledge-based theory and cognitive-developmental theory, this paper provides a novel perspective to explain the mechanism between knowledge search and innovation performance.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 6 January 2021

Feng Zhang, Lei Zhu and Chongchong Lyu

A firm's geographic boundaries represent an important demarcation line when searching for new knowledge. Prior research on geographic search has generated conflicting…

Abstract

Purpose

A firm's geographic boundaries represent an important demarcation line when searching for new knowledge. Prior research on geographic search has generated conflicting results concerning its influence on firm innovation outcomes. The purpose of this study is to fill the gap by examining how and under which conditions geographic search affects firm radical innovation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study hypothesizes a positive association between a firm's geographic search and radical innovation performance, which is mediated by potential absorptive capacity (PAC). It further proposes that the influence of geographic search on PAC will be moderated by a firm's collaborative network. Drawing on a random sample of 286 Chinese manufacturing firms, the theoretical model is tested.

Findings

The study's results show a positive relationship between geographic search and radical innovation performance, which is partially mediated by PAC. Moreover, attributes of collaborative networks (i.e. diverse location of and strong relational ties with partners) are observed to enhance the positive effect of geographic search on PAC.

Originality/value

This paper advances the understanding of how and when firms can better capture the benefits of geographic search in the development of radical innovation.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Lan Xia and Kent B. Monroe

Abstract

Details

Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-723-0

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2020

Xiaobin Feng, Xiaoshu Ma, Zhe Shi and Xuebing Peng

To address the gap of divergent conclusions on the impact of knowledge search (KS) on performance, this paper aims to discuss the nonlinear relationships between KS and…

Abstract

Purpose

To address the gap of divergent conclusions on the impact of knowledge search (KS) on performance, this paper aims to discuss the nonlinear relationships between KS and reverse internationalization enterprise (RIE) performance, and the co-moderation of causation and effectuation (C&E) on KS–performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed theoretical model is developed by integrating the theory of knowledge-based view and decision rationality theory. The empirical study is based on survey data collected from 245 RIEs of the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions in China. Hierarchical multiple regression and the appropriate U-test method are used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Empirical results suggest that both focused and multi-focus searches have inverted U-shaped effects on RIE performance. Furthermore, causation weakens the curvilinear effect between multi-focus search and RIE performance, whereas effectuation strengthens the curvilinear effect but weakens the inverted U-shaped relationship between focused search and RIE performance. Results also indicate that the integration of C&E positively moderates the relationship between focused or multi-focus searches and RIE performance.

Originality/value

Findings reveal the nonlinear effects of focused and multi-focus searches on RIE performance and clarify the dispute over the mechanism of KS on performance by proposing the different moderating role of C&E. Moreover, this research provides deeper insight into contingency mechanisms between KS and performance by integrating the co-moderating role of C&E in RIEs.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2020

Bo Yu, Shengbin Hao and Yu Wang

This study aims to explore the impact of organizational search (local and boundary-spanning search) on business model innovation (efficiency-centered/novelty-centered…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the impact of organizational search (local and boundary-spanning search) on business model innovation (efficiency-centered/novelty-centered business model innovation) and the moderating role of knowledge inertia between them.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationships are examined through data provided by a sample of Chinese firms and by multiple hierarchical regressions.

Findings

Local search has a stronger effect on efficiency-centered business model innovation, whereas boundary-spanning search plays a stronger role in novelty-centered business model innovation. Knowledge inertia strengthens the effect of local search on efficiency-centered business model innovation but weakens the effect of boundary-spanning search on efficiency-centered business model innovation and the effect of local search on novelty-centered business model innovation.

Practical implications

The findings enable firms’ managers to understand the subtle ways in which organizational search interacts with knowledge inertia to affect business model innovation and may help them to make knowledge management efforts to harvest the full value of organizational search.

Originality/value

Previous studies have not examined the effect of different organizational search on different business model innovation from knowledge management perspective. With knowledge inertia as the moderator, the results reveal the contingent impact mechanism of organizational search on business model innovation, the findings provide fresh evidence that can bridge the gap between knowledge management and business model innovation.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 24 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Jian Li, Yishu Li, Yue Yu and Ling Yuan

This paper aims to shed some new light on the mixed findings of previous empirical studies on the effect of knowledge search breadth (SB) on firms’ 2019 innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to shed some new light on the mixed findings of previous empirical studies on the effect of knowledge search breadth (SB) on firms’ 2019 innovation performance (IP).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a contingent approach that examines the two organizational factors in determining the shape of the SB-IP curve. The empirical study is based on survey data gathered from 414 Chinese firms. In dealing with concerns on simultaneity and reverse causality, perceived time-lag between outcome variable and explanatory variables was introduced.

Findings

This study reveals that knowledge novelty and absorptive capacity are two functions underlying the SB-IP relationship. The results also indicate that innovation orientation and firm age moderate the SB-IP relationship in different ways: the more innovation-oriented the firm, the steeper the inverted U-shaped SB-IP relationship will be, while the older the firm, the flatter the SB-IP relationship will be. Interestingly, there is strong evidence for the shape-flip phenomenon of the SB-IP curve: SB has an inverted U-shaped effect on IP when a firm is young; however, SB has a U-shaped effect when the firm is older than 37 years.

Originality/value

By revealing two underlying functions and two moderators of the association between SB and IP at the firm level, this paper contributes to shed some new light to the mixed results reported by previous empirical studies that have examined the effect of knowledge search on firm innovation.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Yueqi Wang, Bin Guo and Yanjie Yin

The purpose of this study is to explore organizational factors that act as antecedents of open innovation search. The authors aim to empirically examine whether the extent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore organizational factors that act as antecedents of open innovation search. The authors aim to empirically examine whether the extent to which the organizational slack is absorbed determines its influence on firms’ openness in innovation search. In addition, the authors also examine the moderating effect of absorptive capacity on the relationship between slack and open innovation search.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted secondary data from multiple sources (NBER, Compustat and US census) and then constructed a ten-year balanced panel dataset of 298 manufacturers. The generalized least square method was used to explore the determinants of open innovation search among manufacturing firms.

Findings

The results of this study reveal that the absorption level of organizational slack indeed determines the openness in innovation search. Specifically, absorbed slack negatively affects a firm’s openness in innovation search, whereas unabsorbed slack promotes open innovation search. Additionally, the relationship between absorbed slack and open innovation search will be less negative with the increase of absorptive capacity.

Originality/value

Different from most previous studies that have examined the performance effect of open search among high-tech and large enterprises, this study focuses on the antecedents of open search strategy in both high- and low-tech, large and small firms. The findings reveal that different forms of organizational slack divergently influence a firm’s open search strategy, contributing to the understanding of the relationship between organizational slack and knowledge search behavior in a broader context, as well as the understanding of the moderating effect of absorptive capacity.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2018

Hang Wu and Yang Liu

Internationalization has emerged as a vital catch-up strategy for firms in emerging markets. Although external knowledge search has been widely acknowledged as an…

Abstract

Purpose

Internationalization has emerged as a vital catch-up strategy for firms in emerging markets. Although external knowledge search has been widely acknowledged as an important way within the internationalization process, there appear to be opposing views as to whether local or international knowledge search contributes more for firms’ internationalization. This paper aims to integrate organizational ambidexterity and external knowledge search theory to define the concept of external knowledge search ambidexterity and empirically test the impact of the balance dimension of external knowledge search ambidexterity and combined dimension of external knowledge search ambidexterity on internationalization and the moderating effect of organizational slack and environmental munificence.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey.

Findings

Based on survey data of 219 Chinese manufacturing firms, the authors find that both relative balance and combined dimensions of external knowledge search ambidexterity are positively associated with internationalization. Organizational slack and environmental munificence both negatively moderate the relationship between balance dimension of external knowledge search ambidexterity and internationalization, both positively moderate the relationship between combined dimension of external knowledge search ambidexterity and internationalization.

Practical implications

It is essential for managers to take different external knowledge sources into consideration, so as to both maximize revenues and profits from advanced technological knowledge and foreign marketing knowledge in foreign markets and geographic proximity advantages in local market, while minimizing the risks of lacking of adaptive capacity for lacking of knowledge about international markets and cost of coordination and communication because of long geographical distance and cultural difference.

Originality/value

The findings help us better understand the knowledge seeking activities of emerging economy multinationals by proposing that the balance and combination of local and international knowledge search both can promote internationalization, especially on the background of China. The results also enrich the organizational ambidexterity research and extend it to external knowledge search field.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Junguang Gao, Hui He, Donghui Teng, Xinming Wan and Shiyu Zhao

Because of the complexity of technological innovation and the dynamics of the technological environment, it is impossible for a single firm to have all knowledge needed…

Abstract

Purpose

Because of the complexity of technological innovation and the dynamics of the technological environment, it is impossible for a single firm to have all knowledge needed for technological innovation, making it essential for firms to conduct cross-border knowledge search and integration. However, it is very difficult for firms to acquire and assimilate cross-border knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to explore how an open innovation platform (OIP) helps firms to effectively search and integrate cross-border knowledge, and to understand the key roles that OIP plays during the cross-border knowledge search and integration processes.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper takes the case analysis method, which provides a comprehensively understanding on the complex process of cross-border knowledge search and integration as well as the internal mechanism. Drawing on the research paradigm of Eisenhardt (1989), Bakker and Akkerman (2014), this paper analyzes and verifies the mechanism of OIP cross-border knowledge search and integration based on extensive interviews.

Findings

First, this paper analyzes the process of cross-border knowledge search and integration through Haier open partnership ecosystem (HOPE), which is theoretically divided into three stages, including motivation formation, cross-border knowledge search and integration. These three stages have been further decomposed into the following seven steps: demands discovery, problems definition, problems decomposition, resource search, resource evaluation, technology redevelopment and test. In addition, this study investigates the manifestation of interrelationships among these stages and steps, depicting the pathways through which HOPE facilitates the firm’s cross-border knowledge search and integration. The conclusions indicate that OIP timely discovers the consumer demands during the motivation formation stage, effectively decomposes problems and find related technology resources during the search stage and improves the efficacy of integration stage.

Research limitations/implications

This study reveals the mechanism of OIP cross-border knowledge search and integration and draws some valuable conclusions, which contribute to the literature on cross-border knowledge search, enrich the research on problem-solving and also propose a new perspective to study the roles of OIP on innovation. However, there are still some limitations. First, this study is built on a single platform (HOPE), further studies may focus on more platforms to ensure the conclusions of this paper. Second, this study conducts data analysis using a simple encoding analysis, so it is possible that some critical information is emitted while collating and analyzing data. Meanwhile, for the research methods, qualitative and quantitative methods can be combined to analyze related issues, then the correlation and corresponding mechanism can be incorporated into the same framework to further verify the conclusions and generalize the results.

Practical implications

This paper theoretically analyzes how and why HOPE helps firms search and integrate cross-border knowledge. It provides not only a reference for OIP but also a proven and effective way for companies’ acquiring and integrating cross-border knowledge. Then it will further improve firms’ innovative abilities, especially disruptive innovation abilities.

Social implications

Technological innovation, especially disruptive innovation is not only a driving force of firms’ sustainable development but also a vital driver of national development. This paper clarified that OIP can help firms conduct successful disruptive innovation through cross-border knowledge search and integration, which will further increase national innovative competence and improve social welfare.

Originality/value

This paper extends the literature on the process of cross-border knowledge search and integration, as well as the roles of OIP. From a managerial standpoint, the conclusions have practical implications for firms to successfully acquire and integrate cross-border knowledge.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 December 2020

Changfeng Wang, Sabine Brunswicker and Ann Majchrzak

This study aims to investigate the effects of project-level external knowledge search breadth and search depth on the innovation performance of open innovation (OI…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the effects of project-level external knowledge search breadth and search depth on the innovation performance of open innovation (OI) projects in large firms; it further considers these effects mediated by two forms of control mechanisms (process and outcome control) when the level of project complexity and the two stages of a project – early (problem definition) and late (solution development) – are taken into account.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a survey of 187 managers responsible for an OI project, the authors use theory on behavioral-based control mechanisms to explore whether the effect of external knowledge search breadth and depth on OI performance is contingent on having the right levels of control mechanisms in place.

Findings

The results showed that the control mechanism mediates the relationship between external knowledge search breadth and depth and OI project performance. Furthermore, project complexity is an important moderator of these effects, especially for outcome control.

Originality/value

A better OI project’s performance is not achieved by external knowledge search breadth and depth alone, but by building process and outcome control mechanism on it to balance knowledge sharing and protecting tension. Furthermore, Outcome control is only helpful with less complex OI projects.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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