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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2020

Shaojie Han, Yibo Lyu, Ruonan Ji, Yuqing Zhu, Jingqin Su and Lining Bao

This study aims at developing a better understanding of the relationship between network embeddedness and incremental innovation capability and further examines the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at developing a better understanding of the relationship between network embeddedness and incremental innovation capability and further examines the moderating effect of open innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts hierarchical regressions to validate the theoretical model and collect the patent data of the top 54 firm patentees in the smartphone industry as empirical sample. Using patent citation network data, this paper estimates the relationship between open innovation, network embeddedness and incremental innovation capability.

Findings

This paper empirically shows that structural embeddedness exerts a negative effect on incremental innovation capability, while relational embeddedness is positively related to incremental innovation capability. And open innovation strengthens the relationship between network embeddedness and incremental innovation capability.

Originality/value

This paper shifts the focus of the determinants of incremental innovation capability from internal factors to the external network features by exploring the linkage between network embeddedness and incremental innovation capability. A counterintuitive conclusion is that structural embeddedness shows a negative effect on firm's incremental innovation capability. Furthermore, in contrast to most previous studies, which only focus on the direct effect of open innovation on the firm's incremental innovation capability, our study examines the moderating effect of open innovation on the relationships between network embeddedness and incremental innovation capability. At last, the results provide practical guidance for firms to occupy the beneficial network positions and adopt appropriate open innovation strategies to improve their incremental innovation capability.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 58 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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