Social Capital and Effective Innovation in Industrial Districts: Dual Effect of Absorptive Capacity
ABSTRACT This paper deals with the factors that affect the heterogeneity in the access to knowledge and its exploitation through innovation in firms located in industrial districts. The aim of the study is to analyze the moderating role of the components of the absorptive capacity – identification and combination – in the process that leads firms in industrial districts with social capital to obtain effective innovations through the knowledge acquisition. We have developed the empirical analysis on a sample of 166 firms located in the industrial districts of the footwear industry in Spain. Findings suggest that the firms in industrial districts improve the acquisition of novel and valuable knowledge from external networks of information when they have identification capabilities to explore their potential. The results also indicate combinative capability strengthens the acquired new knowledge to develop and exploit successful innovations.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – In recent decades, R&D networks have proliferated amongst members of universities, businesses, research organisations and government. Despite increases in the complexity and prominence of these networks, empirical studies investigating their performance are still sparse. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by investigating the impact of trust and commitment on network harmony and coordination. Design/methodology/approach – The study applies confirmatory factor analysis, using structural equation modelling, to ascertain the impact of trust and commitment on harmony and coordination within networks. It is based on responses of 124 participants from an Australian biotechnology and nanotechnology network. Findings – The study reveals that trust has significant impacts on both network coordination and harmony. Practical implications – The paper provides managerial implications for organisations involved in innovation networks which can be used to inform the design and coordination of inter-organisational innovation initiatives across sectors. Originality /value – The paper is original as it provides a network perspective, as responses include a variety of perspectives from universities, businesses, research organisations and government. Consequently, it serves as a first step towards validating constructs from a network perspective that were previously validated only from organisational or dyadic perspectives.Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 08/2010; 25(7):487-500. · 0.69 Impact Factor