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Article

Xin Pan, Xuanjin Chen and Lutao Ning

Although technological diversification is often understood as an explorative activity, the authors argue that it can also be explained as exploitation. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Although technological diversification is often understood as an explorative activity, the authors argue that it can also be explained as exploitation. The purpose of this paper is to examine how exploitative technological diversification (ETD) affects firm performance and what factors may moderate this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consists of 1,569 Chinese listed firms with 7,555 observations from 2003 to 2014. Patent data were collected from the State Intellectual Property Office, while financial information was collected from the China Stock Market and Accounting Research database. The system generalised method of moments model was used for testing the hypotheses.

Findings

The empirical findings indicate that the relationship between ETD and firm performance is inversely U-shaped. Moreover, this relationship is negatively moderated by environmental munificence, which refers to the availability of resources in the environment where the firm operates, and positively moderated by environmental dynamism, which refers to the extent of volatility and unpredictable change in firms’ external environments.

Originality/value

Overlooking ETD limits applications of diversification logic and the precision of their predictions. This paper tries to fill this gap by empirically testing the relationship between ETD and financial performance.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 56 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

Cheng-Yu Lee, Yen-Chih Huang and Chia-Chi Chang

Although scholars have paid considerable attention to the relationship between technological diversification and firm performance, research on this relationship has…

Abstract

Purpose

Although scholars have paid considerable attention to the relationship between technological diversification and firm performance, research on this relationship has produced mixed findings. To reconcile these inconsistent findings, this study, thus, aims to revisit the performance effect of technological diversification by considering two organizational characteristics as crucial moderators, namely, firm size and financial slack.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the research hypotheses, the research sample covers manufacturing firms in the 2008 Standard & Poor (S&P) 500 index. Data regarding the characteristics and patent information of the sample firms were obtained from Compustat and the US Patent and Trademark Office. The hypotheses were tested by using hierarchical regression models.

Findings

In a sample of 168 S&P 500 manufacturing firms, this study finds that technological diversification has a positive effect on firm performance. The relationship between technological diversification and firm performance is also found to be positively moderated by firm size, financial slack and their configuration.

Originality/value

The findings of this study further suggest that firms should be aware that the effect of technological diversification on performance can be enhanced or hindered in specific contexts.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Book part

Jan Hendrik Fisch and Katharina Kertels

Purpose – Recent research suggests that the positive effect of knowledge diversification on the value of corporate knowledge is limited.Design/methodology/approach – This…

Abstract

Purpose – Recent research suggests that the positive effect of knowledge diversification on the value of corporate knowledge is limited.

Design/methodology/approach – This study uses an information processing perspective to explore the highest value that firms can draw from knowledge diversification and to argue that R&D cooperation and foreign direct investment help develop this value.

Findings: Regressions on a sample of 21.434 patents of German manufacturing firms show that technologically diversified knowledge has an inverted U-shaped influence on the value of technological knowledge. The findings also suggest that R&D cooperation increases the value generated by technologically diversified knowledge. However, foreign direct investment does not seem to have a moderating influence on the relationship between technological diversification and value.

Research limitations – We use patent citations to measure knowledge transfers. However, not all inventions are patented.

Originality/value – The information processing theory, which we apply in this chapter, provides consistent explanations for both the inverted U-shape of diversification and the extension of the optimal diversification of knowledge by R&D cooperation.

Details

Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-115-2

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Book part

John Cantwell

Alan Rugman was one of the first to examine in a systematic way the connection between the internationalization of the firm and the diversification of assets within the…

Abstract

Alan Rugman was one of the first to examine in a systematic way the connection between the internationalization of the firm and the diversification of assets within the multinational enterprises (MNE). He has since moved on to deal with many other issues surrounding the MNE, but his major contribution to the subject of international diversification (Rugman, 1979) was for many years essential reading for anyone with serious pretensions to be or to become an international business scholar. Rugman (2005) himself sees the key idea in his early book as being an appreciation of the role of risk in foreign direct investment (FDI). MNEs in the place of individual investors, diversified their portfolio of assets, and thereby served as a vehicle for risk reduction. This argument can be applied especially before 1970, before advances in financial markets and international asset instruments enabled individual investors (or funds acting on their behalf) to directly conduct for themselves such strategies of international diversification to reduce risk.

Details

Internalization, International Diversification and the Multinational Enterprise: Essays in Honor of Alan M. Rugman
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-220-7

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Article

Christopher Palmberg and Olli Martikainen

While the ICT industry as a whole is undergoing a potentially disruptive phase of development due to the convergence between information and telecom technologies and the

Abstract

Purpose

While the ICT industry as a whole is undergoing a potentially disruptive phase of development due to the convergence between information and telecom technologies and the rapid diffusion of internet‐related applications. Against this background the purpose of the paper is to analyse recent patterns of internal/indigenous and external diversification of prominent Finnish telecom firms using data on patents and strategic R&D alliances.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology comprises of statistical analyses of patterns of patenting of Finnish telecom firms to capture the internal/indigenous nature of diversification, compared with patterns of external diversification based on a new database of alliances of Finnish firms.

Findings

The results indicate that the Finnish telecom industry has diversified its technological base in recent years. The industry appears internally/indigenously weak in internet‐related “new” telecom technologies and related applications. However, telecom firms have also extensively engaged themselves in complementary R&D alliances in these fields.

Research limitations/implications

The paper carries important implications for policymakers and managers alike related to the sustainability of previous success of Finnish telecom. Limitation related to the use of Finnish patent data that might to capture software technologies sufficiently, and does not aim to/cannot capture the diversified technological competencies of Nokia on a global level.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies in the combination of patent and R&D alliances data, as well as the development of a concordance table to link technology classes to broader developments in the industry, for a novel and systematic analysis of the responsiveness of the Finnish telecom industry to ICT convergence

Details

info, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article

Mohammad Pakneiat, Monireh Panahi and Javad Noori

The literature on large firms in developing countries proposes a link between types of capabilities and diversification pattern. It is argued that technological

Abstract

Purpose

The literature on large firms in developing countries proposes a link between types of capabilities and diversification pattern. It is argued that technological/organizational capabilities lead to related diversification, and by using contact/general capabilities firms (mostly in developing countries) are able to diversify into unrelated fields. However, in our case, despite the presence of contact/general capabilities, only related diversification is observed. Limitation of the scope of diversification does not allow them to invest in different lucrative businesses. Most successful firms in developing countries have diversified vastly.

Design/methodology/approach

To determine out the reason for this behavior in this case, in‐depth interviews based on open‐ended semi‐structured questionnaire with key 12 decision‐makers were carried out. Each interview took about 90 minutes.

Findings

The case study showed that firms' approach to mission development is connected to firm diversification and capabilities. A mission developed based on a strategic approach leads to the development of technological/organizational capabilities, which make related diversification more likely. However, a mission developed based on a philosophical approach when added to firm contact/general capabilities encourages unrelated diversification.

Research limitations/implications

The research takes for granted the role of national conditions (e.g. macroeconomic indexes) when it is argueed that the behavior of Khodro is expected to be similar to firms in other developing countries (or formerly developing countries, e.g. South Korea). The work presented here could be tested again in two or more firms in a similar environment.

Practical implications

The paper's findings should help firms in developing countries to develop their mission statement in a way that allows them to grow faster via unrelated diversification. It also informs them about the limitations of a strategic approach to their mission that hinders them from leveraging their contact and general capabilities.

Originality/value

Previous research has not paid enough attention to managerial issues in firms in developing countries. Firms in developing countries need more context‐specific instructions to succeed.

Details

Business Strategy Series, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-5637

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Article

Javier Bilbao-Ubillos, Vicente Camino-Beldarrain and Gurutze Intxaurburu

This paper aims to analyse the viability of production processes in the framework of three industries, referred to here as “automotive”, “machine-tool” and “other…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse the viability of production processes in the framework of three industries, referred to here as “automotive”, “machine-tool” and “other transport material”. This idea is of interest as a result of the cognitive convergence that has arisen from the widespread of information and communication technologies in the technical solutions used by most of the product fields that make up the manufacturing industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Under the framework of evolutionary theory and based on the cognitive composition of the technical solutions used by the industries studied, this paper has drawn up technology profiles for those industries from the viewpoint of formal logic. These profiles will help us to analyse their potential and difficulties so as to bridge the cognitive gap and enabling them to access new paths and set up processes to diversify their output. Interviews with company management staff and high-ranking experts have provided us with highly useful information to help us complete the theoretical reflection and check it against expected behaviour patterns.

Findings

The results confirm that firms in the industries studies find it difficult to drive forward diversification processes. The analysis provides a theoretical explanation for the empirical results that can be found in the literature on the extent to which path dependency processes explain technology dynamics.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study lie on the one hand in the small number of firms interviewed (it would be useful to extend the sample to include other medium- and high-technology industries to see whether the results are confirmed) and on the other hand, in the possibility that the Covid-19 crisis may affect results, investment decisions and access to financial resources, and thus, upset plans for diversification.

Practical implications

There is a consensus that decision-making in general, and in management in particular, is plagued by unpredictability, risk and uncertainty (Baldwin et al., 2005; Bergh et al., 2011). Managers making deliberate strategic choices – which usually require long time horizons and involve high risk (Perello-Marin et al., 2013) – need to know whether the competitive future of their firms lies mainly in product innovation (diversification), in process and organisational innovation, in the internationalisation of production, in mergers or in other, alternative paths (Sydow et al., 2009). This study presents empirical evidence of the possibilities and difficulties faced by firms based on their technology profiles. This is a complex approach that calls for more research effort if it is to become an option for enhancing resilience and flexibility at firms and strengthening their ability to react to changes. According to Raynor (2002) diversification, understood dynamically, provides a way for companies competing in especially turbulent industries to hedge against uncertain future reconfigurations of industry boundaries. Palich et al. (2000) state that compared with single-business firms, firms engaging in related diversification are able to exploit synergies across product units by consolidating business activities in manufacturing, marketing, raw material purchases and R&D, and thus, achieve both scale and scope economies.

Originality/value

The manuscript is absolutely original in terms of its approach and design and sets out to analyse industrial diversification processes on the basis of the cognitive characteristics of the technical solutions used by the various industries.

Details

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

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Article

Pei-Chun Lee

The purpose of this study was to identify technological innovation in libraries and further examine the knowledge source and their effects during the technology life cycle (TLC).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to identify technological innovation in libraries and further examine the knowledge source and their effects during the technology life cycle (TLC).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses the technological innovation taking place in libraries. Patent citation analysis was used to capture the trend of technological innovation associated with libraries.

Findings

The findings are as follows: (1) library technologies are now in the ascent phase of their life cycles; (2) private companies from the United States, Germany, France, Japan and the United Kingdom are the top-five owners of intellectual property rights associated with library technology and (3) patent data along with knowledge and technology indicators can be interpreted in the light of library development. The knowledge source with the highest degree of scientific and technological orientation was identified as basic material chemistry. The major technological categories that have received the greatest knowledge effect from library-associated technological innovation are chemistry, electrical engineering, instruments, mechanical engineering, with other fields (civil engineering and furniture, games) being subject to less effect.

Research limitations/implications

There are two research limitations in this study. First, the results use single informants, patents retrieved from United States Patent and Trademark Office, as the source of data. Second, this study uses patent citation measures for exploring the knowledge source and effect of technological innovation, these measures are only subjective for those new invention highly based technological advances. This study concludes that technological innovation for libraries will be characterized by an increasing role for science-intensive and interdisciplinary areas. This study also suggests that organizational learning facilitates innovation. Therefore, a library hoping to co-evolve with dynamic environment through technological innovation should improve its organizational learning processes.

Practical implications

Theories of technology-push and demand-pull were examined in relation to technological innovation taking place in libraries. The TLC analysis indicated that library technology is mainly in the ascent stage, suggesting that libraries have not achieved the strongest technological transformation. The findings suggest that the importance of demand-pull and technology-push vary over the TLC of libraries.

Social implications

To survive in a dynamic environment library must be able to cope with increasing complexity and high-speed technological change. It is pivotal to integrate the views of users (as customers), software houses or design companies (as suppliers) as well as other libraries (as communities) into the sustainable development strategy of a library. In these contexts, libraries with the capacity to innovate will be able to respond to new demands faster and to invent and provide new services better than noninnovative libraries.

Originality/value

Analysis based on the technological innovation perspective to identify the future development of libraries is still lacking. This paper seeks to identify the technological innovation employed in libraries to accommodate the 21st century model of information-seeking behavior. This study identifies a variety of factors that have influenced the transformation of library services, and these include technology developments and new demands from library users. To illustrate the driving forces of technology-push in libraries, this paper examines holistic-patented technologies invented for libraries.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article

Chunjuan Luan and Xiuping Wang

The purpose of this paper is to help China's science and technology (abbr. as S&T) managers and related policy makers to allocate S&T human resources, optimize…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to help China's science and technology (abbr. as S&T) managers and related policy makers to allocate S&T human resources, optimize organizational systems of laboratories, design and plan some grant projects, and manage other S&T‐related work in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, by measuring and mapping of technology‐fields correlation, with nanotechnology as an example.

Design/methodology/approach

Methodologies such as co‐occurrence analysis, correlation analysis, multidimensional scaling (abbr. as MDS) analysis, dendrogram (tree‐like) analysis, etc. are employed to measure and map technology‐fields correlation.

Findings

It is found that the exact relevance degree of any two technology‐fields exists among the top 33 technology‐fields with high frequencies. There are three industrial clusters in Multidimentional Scaling View, that is, nanotechnology used in bio‐medical industry, nanotechnology used in new material industry and nanotechnology used in electronic industry. Hierarchy of any two technology‐fields can be found out in the dendrogram view of the top 33 technology‐fields.

Originality/value

This paper could be of great significance to China's S&T managers and related policy makers, especially in the area of nanotechnology, in selecting and managing generic technology and the findings in this paper can be applied in some other fields of science and technology management in China. Both technology‐fields correlation analysis and MDS and dendrogram view analysis could benefit China's policy makers in managing nanotechnology research and development activities.

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