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The social underpinnings of absorptive capacity: The moderating effects of structural holes on innovation generation based on external knowledge

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Abstract

Building on absorptive capacity and social network research, in this paper I investigate how individuals inside the organization use external knowledge to generate innovations. Through original sociometric data collected from 276 scientists, researchers, and engineers from the Research and Development division of a large multinational high-tech company, I show that the effects of external knowledge on individuals’ innovativeness are contingent upon individuals’ position in the internal social structure. In particular, results indicate that the positive effects of external knowledge on innovation generation become more positive when individuals sourcing external knowledge span structural holes in the internal knowledge-sharing network.

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... In order to foster CE as an essential behavior in today's dynamic environment, firms need to focus on their absorptive capacity to assimilate, learn and employ new technological and product advancements (Kafouros et al., 2020;Vla ci c et al., 2019), as well as to integrate the various types of knowledge, relationships and resources (Rodrigo-Alarc on et al., 2018;Chuang et al., 2016;Zahra et al., 2009;Zahra and George, 2002). Absorptive capacity is a special capability that enables firms to recognize, value, assimilate and exploit the new external knowledge obtained from the external environment, and also from firms' various relationships (Mahmood and Mubarik, 2020;Rodrigo-Alarcon et al., 2018;Preston et al., 2017;Tortoriello, 2015;Zahra et al., 2009); enabling innovation (Reid, 2019;Preston et al., 2017;Tortoriello, 2015;Foss et al., 2013) and CE (Tortoriello, 2015;Zahra and George, 2002). As absorptive capacity capability is activated based on the recognition and exploitation of internal and external knowledge, it seems that social capital can play a fundamental role in enhancing absorptive capacity (Mahmood and Mubarik, 2020), and hence corporate entrepreneurial and innovative behaviors (Khan et al., 2020;Rodrigo-Alarc on et al., 2018;Preston et al., 2017;Li et al., 2014;Yim and Leem, 2013;Alguezaui and Filieri, 2010;Monnavarian and Ashena, 2009;Adler and Kwon, 2002). ...
... In order to foster CE as an essential behavior in today's dynamic environment, firms need to focus on their absorptive capacity to assimilate, learn and employ new technological and product advancements (Kafouros et al., 2020;Vla ci c et al., 2019), as well as to integrate the various types of knowledge, relationships and resources (Rodrigo-Alarc on et al., 2018;Chuang et al., 2016;Zahra et al., 2009;Zahra and George, 2002). Absorptive capacity is a special capability that enables firms to recognize, value, assimilate and exploit the new external knowledge obtained from the external environment, and also from firms' various relationships (Mahmood and Mubarik, 2020;Rodrigo-Alarcon et al., 2018;Preston et al., 2017;Tortoriello, 2015;Zahra et al., 2009); enabling innovation (Reid, 2019;Preston et al., 2017;Tortoriello, 2015;Foss et al., 2013) and CE (Tortoriello, 2015;Zahra and George, 2002). As absorptive capacity capability is activated based on the recognition and exploitation of internal and external knowledge, it seems that social capital can play a fundamental role in enhancing absorptive capacity (Mahmood and Mubarik, 2020), and hence corporate entrepreneurial and innovative behaviors (Khan et al., 2020;Rodrigo-Alarc on et al., 2018;Preston et al., 2017;Li et al., 2014;Yim and Leem, 2013;Alguezaui and Filieri, 2010;Monnavarian and Ashena, 2009;Adler and Kwon, 2002). ...
... In order to foster CE as an essential behavior in today's dynamic environment, firms need to focus on their absorptive capacity to assimilate, learn and employ new technological and product advancements (Kafouros et al., 2020;Vla ci c et al., 2019), as well as to integrate the various types of knowledge, relationships and resources (Rodrigo-Alarc on et al., 2018;Chuang et al., 2016;Zahra et al., 2009;Zahra and George, 2002). Absorptive capacity is a special capability that enables firms to recognize, value, assimilate and exploit the new external knowledge obtained from the external environment, and also from firms' various relationships (Mahmood and Mubarik, 2020;Rodrigo-Alarcon et al., 2018;Preston et al., 2017;Tortoriello, 2015;Zahra et al., 2009); enabling innovation (Reid, 2019;Preston et al., 2017;Tortoriello, 2015;Foss et al., 2013) and CE (Tortoriello, 2015;Zahra and George, 2002). As absorptive capacity capability is activated based on the recognition and exploitation of internal and external knowledge, it seems that social capital can play a fundamental role in enhancing absorptive capacity (Mahmood and Mubarik, 2020), and hence corporate entrepreneurial and innovative behaviors (Khan et al., 2020;Rodrigo-Alarc on et al., 2018;Preston et al., 2017;Li et al., 2014;Yim and Leem, 2013;Alguezaui and Filieri, 2010;Monnavarian and Ashena, 2009;Adler and Kwon, 2002). ...
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Purpose This paper studies the role of inter-firm supply chain social capital and intra-firm social capital in enabling Corporate Entrepreneurship ( CE ), and also investigates the moderating and mediating effect of absorptive capacity. Design/methodology/approach A correlational descriptive survey research is employed for 200 firms; adopting a 13-item Likert scale obtained from Wang and Li (2016) for measuring inter-firm social capital, and an eight item Likert scale for measuring absorptive capacity. This is in addition to a nine item Likert scale obtained from De Clercq et al. (2013) to measure the intra-firm social capital, and a nine item semantic differential scale developed by Covin and Slevin (1989) for measuring the level of corporate entrepreneurship. Statistical analysis packages SPSS V.24 and AMOS V.24 were used. Findings Results provide evidence that structural supply chain social capital has an effect on corporate entrepreneurship; mediated by potential absorptive capacity. Additionally, the effect of relational supply chain social capital on corporate entrepreneurship is fully mediated by potential absorptive capacity. Furthermore, the effect of cognitive supply chain social capital on corporate entrepreneurship is fully mediated by potential absorptive capacity. On the other hand, results show that both intra-firm social capital and realized absorptive capacity moderate the relationship between potential absorptive capacity and corporate entrepreneurship. Research limitations/implications The convenience sampling technique increases the probability of selection bias. In addition, the research focused on two aspects of intra-firm social capital, namely relational and cognitive dimensions, and overlooked the structural dimension of social capital. Practical implications Providing managers with insights about the critical role of developing social capital among supply chain partners to facilitate the transfer and exchange of crucial knowledge necessary for product development and innovation. This is in addition to the need to capitalize on intra-collaborations and cross-functional routines to facilitate CE. Originality/value This study provides a required extension to the previous literature, which has not empirically modeled the role of potential absorptive capacity as means by which supply chain social capital dimensions enable CE. Also, the research identifies contingency factors that enable the effect of potential absorptive capacity on CE; namely intra-firm social capital and realized absorptive capacity.
... Research on innovation has increased in the scholarly field of management studies which focus on learning processes and dynamic capabilities (Horvat, Dreher, & Som, 2019). These studies recognize firms like knowledge-creating entities, wherein the determinants of companies' boundaries (Tortoriello, 2015), their internal assets, and mechanisms influence innovation (Jeong-Duk & Ji-Hoon, 2017). The most usual statement is that innovation development is related to absorptive capacity (Acap) (Limaj & Bernroider, 2019). ...
... The statistical tests have proved that interaction with external knowledge through R&D cooperation has a more positive impact at the level of Pacap than contracting. It is also demonstrated that the relationship of experience with the knowledge that was measured by non-expired patents also has a positive impact (Tortoriello, 2015). Provided that the firms recognize the importance of external knowledge, they will have some degree of Pacap which should be transformed to be applied (Fosfuri & Tribó, 2008). ...
... Researchers have made explicit the importance of internal information flows for innovation activities (Jeong-Duk & Ji-Hoon, 2017). External knowledge follows innovation through Racap (Tortoriello, 2015). Theoretically, Racap is recognized as an important process to promote innovation (Arbussà & Coenders, 2007). ...
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Purpose: This paper discusses the relationship between absorptive capacity, external sources of knowledge, and innovation in the context of the power sector. In doing so, we follow the theoretical debate over absorptive capacity dimensions. We focus on the statistical testing of Zahra and George’s (2002) absorptive capacity construct to identify whether their dimensions find support in reality. We consider that the external environment encompasses both scientific and industrial sources of knowledge, which influence absorptive capacity. Originality/value: Zahra and George’s (2002) model initiated the debate of the absorptive capacity dimensions, and it is disseminated in literature. However, it is poorly tested. There is still a research gap related to the empirical validation stage of the absorptive capacity construct itself. Our research tries to decrease this gap, testing Zahra and George’s (2002) absorptive capacity construct in a Brazilian company’s context. Design/methodology/approach: The research design was quantitative. A survey was applied to 402 industrial firms. We used multivariate sta tistical techniques and the structural models were tested by Partial Least Squares (PLS). Findings: Zahra and George’s (2002) construct of absorptive capacity was proved, and innovation, as well as the external sources types of knowledge, are related to it. The absorptive capacity is contingent on types of external knowledge.
... Studies have shown that strong organizational capabilities may reconfigure firms' resources to generate innovation performance (Kotabe et al., 2014;, such as strategic capability and AC (Liu and Yang, 2020). Whereas the resource-based view (RBV) argues that firms cannot improve their innovation performance until they absorb external resources and integrate them with internal ones (Tortoriello, 2015). That is, besides external PNC, firms' strategic capability and AC can also influence innovation strategic decisions. ...
... Thus, firms must possess correspond capability to governance such ties, i.e. PNC (Tortoriello, 2015). Social network theory suggests that political ties could constitute a bridge between business and politics, thus offering new resources, which may influence the trade-off between exploratory and exploitative innovation strategies (O'reilly and Tushman, 2013). ...
... AC is dependent on the degree of research and development (R&D) spending, prior skills, technological opportunities, the relationships between firms and divisional R&D labs and knowledge base, etc. (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990). Existing studies demonstrated that the improvement of these factors above can increase AC (Tortoriello, 2015). ...
Article
Purpose This study examines the effect of political networking capability (PNC) and strategic capability on exploratory innovation/exploitative innovation through the mediation of absorptive capability (AC). Design/methodology/approach Using empirical survey data collected from 153 traditional manufacturing firms (TMFs) in China, the authors apply partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) combined with mediation analyses to test hypotheses. Findings PNC has a higher impact on exploratory innovation than exploitative innovation through AC. The authors thus provide novel empirical insights into independent variables of firms' ambidextrous innovation and their implementation mechanisms. Research limitations/implications The authors highlight a unique situation of China and contribute to the literature on PNC and AC. The findings demonstrate that AC plays an important role in configuring government-obtained external resources into new products, thus influencing ambidextrous innovation strategic decisions. Practical implications TMFs' executives should enhance PNC to obtain more resources to conduct exploratory and exploitative innovation. Government officials and policymakers should strengthen the supervision of TMFs' innovation activities and adopt effective measures to ensure that TMFs could conduct more exploratory innovation as governments expected. Originality/value This study provides new insights by bridging research gaps in the literature and advances the insights of how TMFs' PNC/strategic capability directly and indirectly fosters exploratory and exploitative innovation via the mediating role of AC in China.
... Social position is a crucial factor in gaining recognition from professional colleagues in a cultural market [43]. Artists do not stand alone. ...
... Burt [63] describes this concept as a structural autonomous actor who belongs to a densely interconnected group of colleagues, but also has bridging ties beyond them. Similarly, Tortoriello [43] argues that the brokerage position is most beneficial when the bridging tie is a Simmelian tie [68], indicating strong cohesive ties among connected groups. Additionally, Vedres and Stark [69] introduced the concept of a "structural fold," which refers to a network position of inter-cohesion that provides both familiarity and diversity for innovative actions. ...
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The social standing of an artist provides a reliable proxy for the value of the artist’s product and reduces uncertainty about the quality of the product. While there are several different types of social standing, we focus on reputation among professional artists within the same genre, as they are best able to identify the artistic value of a product within that genre. To reveal the underlying means of attaining high social standing within the professional group, we examined two quantifiable properties that are closely associated with social standing, musical identity and the social position of the artist. We analyzed the playlist data of electronic dance music DJ/producers, DJs who also compose their own music. We crawled 98,332 tracks from 3,164 playlists by 815 DJs, who played at nine notable international music festivals. Information from the DJs’ tracks, including genre, beats per minute, and musical keys, was used to quantify musical identity, and playlists were transformed into network data to measure social positions among the DJs. We found that DJs with a distinct genre identity as well as network positions combining brokerage and cohesion tend to place higher in success and social standing.
... Second, external search offers opportunities for inventors to expose themselves to external knowledge (Tortoriello, 2015). Inventors may be motived to search externally by attending meetings in the industry-or discipline-wide environment (Acedo et al., 2006). ...
... In contrast, inventors who prioritise external search are likely to be more effective in solving problems and generating innovation (Cross and Cummings, 2004). They can make their knowledge visible both in the technical community and in the organisation and may engage in more knowledge-sharing activities in a bid to internalise external knowledge elements to organisational knowledge that can support more innovations (Tortoriello, 2015). Thus, the intrinsic benefits of knowledge combinations, and hence, combinational potential for engaging in knowledge search activities, are considerably lower for internal search than for external search. ...
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This study conceptualises inventors as agents that connect knowledge elements within a knowledge network. Inventors’ searches thus focus on a knowledge element’s combinatorial potential–its suitability for combination with other knowledge elements to generate innovation. Using a survey-based network approach with scientists in the R&D department of a leading US oil and gas company, we find that internal search on combinatorial potential in a knowledge network has an inverted U-shaped relationship with innovation but external search on combinatorial potential has a positive relationship with individual innovation performance. No reinforcement effect between internal and external search was found. Instead, our study reveals the search strategy through knowledge networks that inventors are likely to reduce their effort on internal search but maintain external search to identify the combinatorial potential of knowledge elements, making them more likely to create fruitful knowledge combinations for innovation.
... According to Burt's theory, brokerage is a basic process that combines knowledge from networks with a limited degree of overlap, conse uently representing distinct and even distant knowledge domains. As such, brokerage can nurture innovative processes (Hargadon, 2002;Burt, 2004;Fleming, Mingo, & Chen, 2007;Grandinetti, 2018Grandinetti, , 2019Tortoriello, 2015). More specifically, we use the concept of brokerage to frame the innovative strategies that lead to the emergence of new market spaces as new systems of relations between production, technology, and consumption (Bonifati, 2010). ...
... Organizations dealing with various knowledge domains-such as those geographically or product diversified-have more structural holes and conse uently, more brokerage opportunities (Burt, 2000;Grandinetti, 2019;Tortoriello, 2015). This situation gives rise to internal networks, which then become connected to specific external sources of knowledge. ...
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Framing within the service-dominant logic view, this paper deals with the emergence of new market spaces conceptualized as new contexts of use. This work aims to describe the emergence of a new value cocreation context from brokerage and exaptation strategies. By filling a literature gap, the paper describes why and how the service-dominant logic and brokerage strategy, i.e., a strategy brokering different cultural domains and contexts of use, and their variant exaptation, i.e., a strategy brokering a technological domain featured by a specific use with a completely different context of use, are useful for framing the emergence of a new market space. The paper's second aim is to draw the configuration of firm cognitive endowment—the T-shaped model—potentially enabling brokerage/exaptation strategies. The paper highlights the features a firm cognitive endowment should possess in terms of in-depth competencies and dynamic capabilities to trigger new and potentially valuable contexts of use.
... Patentbased variables are commonly used as proxies of innovation performance, especially regarding the product innovation. Some examples are number of patents (Hagedoorn & Wang, 2012;Schilling, 2015;Tortoriello, 2015), number of patent citations (Nieto & Santamaría, 2007;Soh & Subramanian, 2014;Yayavaram & Chen, 2015) and patent's commercial value (Fischer & Leidinger, 2014). However, patent-based variables are not ideal proxies of innovation (Chambers, 2016) as some firms choose not to patent because of the risk of copying (Hall et al., 2014). ...
... For instance, granted patents were used by Hagedoorn and Wang (2012), Liu, Lu, Filatotchev, Buck, andWright (2010, andShilling (2015) as a proxy of innovation performance. In turn, patent applications were used as proxy of inventive productivity in the work of Aharonson, Baum, and Plunket (2008), of knowledge generation in the work of Berry (2014) and of innovation performance in the works of Hall and Bagchi-Sen (2007), Nooteboom, Van Haverbeke, Duysters, Gilsing, and Van den Oord (2007) and Tortoriello (2015). ...
Article
Purpose The level of R&D spending of a country tends to increase the national patent rate and, in consequence, can collaborate with its economic development. However, there are a few empirical studies investigating this phenomenon by comparing countries from all over the globe. The purpose of this paper is to disassemble the sources of R&D spending and identify the role of national patent applications as a mediator in the relationship between R&D spending and national development. Design/methodology/approach Panel data on patent applications in 35 countries of all continents (except Africa) over 15 years (from 1999 to 2013) regarding four levels of national R&D intensity (i.e. by enterprises, governments, higher education institutions and private non-profit organisations), gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, gross national income (GNI) and human development index (HDI) were collected from the OCDE. Then, two-stage panel regressions were conducted to test the hypotheses. Findings The empirical findings indicated that R&D spending from firms and higher education institutions (public and private) help to directly improve national patent applications, thus contributing to the national development (measured by GDP per capita, GNI per capita and HDI). Originality/value The importance of this study was to show that the investments in R&D made by universities and firms are more effective in leading to patent applications, which contributes to promoting national development. With these findings, governments can focus their efforts on stimulating these types of investments if they want to foster the growth of national patent rates.
... In this regard, knowledge transfer and sharing are understood to occur from how actors in the network structure learn from each other (Argote and Ingram 2000;Chu and Yoon 2020b;Howard et al. 2016). Once the exchange relationship is established, a structural position in the network structure can be interpreted regarding resource possession (Nahapiet and Ghoshal 1998;Tortoriello 2015). Holding a structural position means being accessible to information and knowledge that flows through the network structure. ...
... Social interactions with other subgroup members who have multiple perspectives and experiences help the focal subgroup members build a common knowledge base and promote the basic skills and capabilities required to acquire and share new knowledge (Cohen and Levinthal 1990;Uzzi 1997). The common knowledge base in a dyadic relationship in which knowledge acquisition and transfer occur is an important condition for smooth knowledge flows (Reagans and McEvily 2003;Tortoriello 2015). Therefore, the larger scope of the network would allow the focal group members to learn the varied knowledge and experiences that subgroups possess. ...
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This study investigates the potentially different roles of informal social networks in promoting knowledge sharing. Specifically, it aims to examine the effects of the focal subgroup’s between-subgroup network size and strength on knowledge sharing with other subgroups and the moderating effect of within-subgroup network strength on the relationship of between-subgroup network size to knowledge sharing. Two different online surveys were conducted to assess social networks and knowledge sharing at a paint manufacturing company located in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. The final sample consisted of 536 employees in 58 teams. The team-level regression results showed that the focal subgroup’s between-subgroup network strength has a significant effect on knowledge sharing with other subgroups, indicating that strong ties among subgroups are more advantageous to external knowledge sharing than weak ties. The results also demonstrated that the focal subgroup’s within-subgroup network strength negatively moderates the effect of its between-subgroup network size on knowledge sharing, indicating that higher levels of between-subgroup network size are positively related to external knowledge sharing when within-subgroup network strength is weak and negatively when within-subgroup network strength is strong. The study’s findings suggest that strong ties among subgroups and weak ties among subgroup members are advantageous to external knowledge sharing.
... For managers, this implies that they need to create internal knowledge-sharing network to gain benefit from externally acquired knowledge. Social underpinnings ( Tortoriello, 2015 ) and power relationship ( Todorova & Durisin, 2007 ) of absorptive capacity as a learning mechanism for RRI institutionalisation ( Owen et al., 2020 ) may help explain how, through learning experience of RRI uptake, managers may create the ability to leverage external knowledge to generate innovation inside the companies in a responsible way. ...
... We also propose to include absorptive capacity as learning mechanisms for influencing the dynamic of RRI institutionalisation identified by Owen et al., (2020) , serves mainly for RRI organisational change in industry. Through stakeholder engagement in RRI, managers can develop social underpinnings of absorptive capacity ( Tortoriello, 2015 ) to create an internal knowledge-sharing network to gain benefit from externally acquired RRI-relevant knowledge. This may contribute to a value-sensitive absorptive capacity framework as proposed by Garst et al., (2019) . ...
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While originally intended to transform research and innovation practice, the concept of responsible research and innovation (RRI) has largely remained a theoretical, policy-oriented construct, thereby engendering a perception that RRI indicators are very different from organizational or business indicators. As there is currently limited experience with RRI in businesses, in an attempt to gain more insights into RRI in practice, this paper focuses on an exploratory assessment of key performance indicators (KPIs) in a nanomedicine project. Based on correspondence analysis, we visually demonstrate associations among KPIs of RRI dimensions and of organizational ongoing R&D dimensions implying that these two indicators are not entirely different from each other and may even be potentially aligned. This finding may stimulate the motives of the RRI uptake in practice.
... Researchers have started to increase our comprehending concerning absorptive capability from individuallevel aspect in replying to these requests [88,95]. "Individual absorptive capability" has been linked to cognition, knowledge, and external networks diversities [88], and also has been linked to positive outputs including "task performance" [96], knowledge generation [92], and "innovativeness" [95,97]. [98] contributed to the first formulation of the diffusion paradigm. ...
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In recent years, banks have begun to realize the importance of Internet banking services and their connection with the banking sector. The main purpose of this article was to find the mediating role of employee innovativeness in the relationship between Internet banking and employee performance of certain banks in the Republic of Congo. A 350-sample size was considered, and a partial least square and structural model equation was used for data analysis. The research results suggested that Internet banking positively affects employee performance and employee innovativeness. They also confirmed that employee innovativeness partially mediates the relationship between Internet banking and employee performance. The theoretical model was built based on Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) Theory, Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) Model, Absorptive Capacity Theory (ACT), and Resource-Based View Theory. This work makes a more accurate contribution to the literature on Internet banking and employee performance. The study further provided recommendations and suggests directions for future studies.
... Recently, some empirical works have examined the influence of ACAP on innovation performance (Tsai, 2001;Lund Vinding, 2006;Tseng et al., 2011;Kostopoulos et al., 2011;Cepeda-Carrion et al., 2012;Wuryaningrat, 2013;Tortoriello, 2014;Huang et al., 2015;Lau and Lo, 2015). For example, in their research in Spanish firms, Fosfuri and Tribó (2008) found that organisations with higher levels of potential ACAP systematically achieve better performance through new or improved products. ...
... Therefore, in an environment of technological uncertainties, it is crucial to determine the capacities in which the firm invests for the productivity of the research process and its future. In multinationals, for the transformation of external knowledge into innovation, training of the firm's workforce is essential (Franco et al., 2014;Tortoriello, 2015). ...
Purpose Prior research suggests that organizational alliances' contribution to innovation performance is conditional to absorptive capacity (AC). Instead of an antecedent of alliances, in this study, the authors conceptualize and evaluate AC as an outcome of alliance intensity. Design/methodology/approach The authors tested their theoretical framework using multivariate statistical analysis on data collected from a survey applied to dedicated biotechnology firms (DBFs) from three countries: Brazil, Portugal and Spain. Findings First, the results show that whereas the high alliance intensity effect is positive and stronger on RAC, it is negative and weaker on PAC. Second, the alliance intensity effect on RAC is strengthened when firms have alliances only in their home country and the top manager does not have both academic and managerial experiences. Practical implications The authors’ study suggests as implications for DBFs: (1) firms should form alliances to develop AC, (2) firms should consider alliances for improving AC when top managers' expertise is not diverse, and (3) firms should consider only alliances with national partners as a differential for AC development. Originality/value This research contributes to the literature of dynamic capabilities, AC, alliances and innovation management by providing empirical validation for key contingencies surrounding the benefits of alliances as an antecedent of AC.
... If the probability is less than 0.05, it means that there is a correlation between the two matrices. e calculation of the correlation coefficient is done using the software UCINET [34,39]. It can be seen from Table 7 that there is a significant correlation between professional athletes' social networks, indicating that there are overlapping members in eight different types of networks, and there is also a strong correlation between athletes' society support network and society discussion network. ...
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This study chooses Chinese athletes as the research object and constructs the overall network of its social support network and discussion network. From the micro-, meso-, and macrolevels of the social network structure, the structure and characteristics of the athlete’s overall social network are analyzed. Through research, we found that there is embeddedness, that is, the relevance, between society support networks, between society discussion networks, and between society support networks and society discussion networks. At the same time, in the athletes’ social support network and social discussion network, some athletes have no contact with other players; they have no “power” in the group as well, so it is difficult to obtain network resources. We also found that there are small-world characteristics in the social network of Chinese professional athletes. The above findings will provide a deeper understanding of the peculiarities of athlete groups and have certain practical significance for improving athletes’ daily training and life management conditions.
... In turn, the cluster of works focusing on knowledge management included 79 studies. Furthermore, in addition to specific approaches to the management of knowledge, the studies featuring in this cluster also deal with themes such as structural shortcomings (Gray et al. 2011), creating knowledge (Hsu and Sabherwal 2012), organisational learning (Santos-Vijande et al. 2012) and social networks (Tortoriello 2015). The market orientation theme displays a major input from studies interrelated with innovativeness. ...
Article
The literature on the theme of innovativeness displays a multidimensional character and interrelates with diverse approaches and research perspectives. As from the early 1990s, the scientific literature on the theme began to undergo significant growth and resulting in researchers in this field encountering rising difficulties as they attempt to remain updated as regards the different research flows. Furthermore, the volume of international production rendered it equally difficult to identify the underlying intellectual and conceptual structures of this field. In this context, the present study stems from the application of a quantitative approach to these scientific outputs through the means of combining diverse bibliometric techniques, including the co-occurrence of keywords, bibliographic coupling and co-citation analysis. This gathered and analysed 2523 of the scientific works available in the Web of Science, one of the most important global databases of scientific knowledge. This identified the origins of the current literature on innovativeness as well as its core justifications and leading intellectual and conceptual structures, including strategic and longitudinal perspectives on the development of this theme within the business studies field. We furthermore deployed, in a complementary approach, three different software applications: VOSviewer, SciMAT and Bibliometrix. Finally, based upon qualitative analysis, this study furthermore identifies a set of research opportunities that enable those approaching this field to plan, target and disseminate future research efforts.
... In turn, the cluster of works focusing on knowledge management included 79 studies. Furthermore, in addition to specific approaches to the management of knowledge, the studies featuring in this cluster also deal with themes such as structural shortcomings (Gray et al. 2011), creating knowledge (Hsu and Sabherwal 2012), organisational learning (Santos-Vijande et al. 2012) and social networks (Tortoriello 2015). The market orientation theme displays a major input from studies interrelated with innovativeness. ...
... So, this study responds to the suggestions of these experts. Absorptive capacity at the individual level is determined by prior knowledge, cognition, and diversity of external networks (Jiménez-Castillo & Sánchez-Pérez, 2013;Lowik et al., 2012), and is associated with favorable outcomes such as task performance (Deng et al., 2008;Park et al., 2007), knowledge creation (Matusik & Heeley, 2005), and innovativeness (Lowik et al., 2012;Ter Wal et al., 2017;Tortoriello, 2014). Thus, the respondents in this study were individuals, mini market employees. ...
Article
This study explores how potential and realized absorptive capacity affects innovation capability. This study aims to empirically examine the path relationship between potential absorptive capacity, realized absorptive capacity, and innovation capability in mini market in West Java, thus enhance our understanding of the mechanism between absorptive capacity and innovation capability. The authors have conducted a survey among employees with a valid response from 597 respondents. Multiple regression was used to assess the research model. The results provide evidence to show that potential and realized absorptive capacity are positively related to innovation capability, but in different proportions, and potential absorptive capacity affects positively to realize absorptive capacity. This study will contribute in an acceptable way to highlight the effects and role of both the potential absorptive capacity and the realized absorptive capacity in their role as independent variables and the results of this in innovation capability in turn as a dependent variable.Keywords: potential absorptive capacity realized absorptive capacity innovation capability
... Moreover, in developing a shared language and interpretative schema, tertius iungens enables greater appreciation of each partner's specific skills, research priorities and needs: that is, a better understanding of what each partner knows and considers worth knowing. This enhanced mutual awareness facilitates effective activation of tangible and intangible resources within personal networks which is critical for collective learning and collaborative research (Tortoriello, 2015;Vasudeva et al., 2013). ...
Article
Research on social networks and innovation emphasizes that individuals spanning structural holes and crossing institutional boundaries have more opportunities for knowledge recombination and innovation involvement. However, transforming the potential knowledge and resources available through personal networks to attain innovation can be difficult for the focal individual. Using an ego-network approach, this study examines whether and to what extent an individual strategic orientation to cooperation (i.e. tertius iungens) contributes to strengthening the relation between two personal network properties (structural and institutional separation) and involvement in innovation. Our analysis is conducted in the context of biomedicine, where research networks are particularly relevant for science and innovation achievements. Our findings advance social network theory by decoupling social network mechanisms from individual strategic networking behavior as factors influencing knowledge generation processes. Results also provide original evidence on an overlooked phenomenon: the moderating role of a tertius iungens orientation in the relationship between multiple social network properties and innovation. Finally, our research sheds new light on the distinct sources of knowledge recombination in networks and the role of individual networking strategies to facilitate mobilization of resources for innovation.
... erefore, regardless of the strength of the relationship, if there is a structural hole, a third party that links two actors who have no direct connection has an information advantage and a control advantage. So, individuals or organizations must establish a wide range of contacts, occupy more structural holes, and acquire more information in order to maintain an advantage in the competition [37]. Common measurement index of structural holes are network constraint index, network effective size, network efficiency, centrality, PageRank, and local clustering coefficient. ...
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Social network theory is an important paradigm of social structure research, which has been widely used in various fields of research. This paper reviews the development process and the latest progress of social network theory research and analyzes the research application of social network. In order to reveal the deep social structure, this paper analyzes the structure of social networks from three levels: microlevel, mesolevel, and macrolevel and reveals the origin, development, perfection, and latest achievements of complex network models. The regular graph model, P1 model, P2 model, exponential random graph model, small-world network model, and scale-free network model are introduced. In the end, the research on the social network structure is reviewed, and social support network and social discussion network are introduced, which are two important contents of social network research. At present, the research on social networks has been widely used in coauthor networks, citation networks, mobile social networks, enterprise knowledge management, and individual happiness, but there are few research studies on multilevel structure, dynamic research, complex network research, whole network research, and discussion network research. This provides space for future research on social networks.
... Szulanski (1996) emphasises that 'the movement of knowledge within the organisation is a distinct experience, not a gradual process of dissemination' (p. 28), and it requires individual actions and their social interactions (Easterby-Smith et al., 2008;Tortoriello, 2015). Knowledge-sharing behaviour is not automatic but requires nurturing and facilitation by the firm and other organisational mechanisms (Jansen et al., 2005). ...
Article
Despite the abundance of literature on Six Sigma, we know only a little about how project leaders’ behaviours create and manage effective Six Sigma teams. To address this gap, the present study investigates the influence of leaders’ coaching behaviours on operational absorptive capacity in Six Sigma teams. Hypotheses linking leaders’ coaching behaviours and the two components of operational absorptive capacity, potential and realised operational absorptive capacity, were tested using data from 324 members of 102 improvement teams from two European engineering manufacturing companies deploying Six Sigma. The study establishes that leader coaching has a positive impact on both potential and realised operational absorptive capacity. By considering absorptive capacity, a construct from the strategy literature in the context of operations improvement teams, this study demonstrates the usefulness of absorptive capacity in a new context and at a new level
... If the presence of structural holes could be reduced the network would increase its productivity (Roos, 2017). This positive impact has been shown both in intra-firm networks (Tortoriello, 2015) and in inter-firm networks (Talmud, 1994;Dyer & Nobeoka, 2000;Zaheer & Bell, 2005;Liao & Phan, 2015). Likewise, the impact of network typology has been shown to impact both innovation performance and inward investment in economies (Bell, 2005;Desai et al., 2005;Shi et al., 2012;Guan et al., 2015;Graf & Kalthaus, 2018). ...
... Брокеры обычно имеют более высокие зарплаты, более благоприятные оценки от руководства и лучшие возможности продвижения по службе, чем их коллеги, чья позиция во внутриорганизационной сети менее выгодна (Burt, 1992(Burt, , 2004. Брокеры также демонстрируют более высокую креативность (Burt, 2004), способствуют распространению знаний внутри организации и поддерживают инновации (Kleinbaum & Tushman, 2007;Tortoriello, 2015), что делает их ценным ресурсом для организаций. Разнородные контакты в разреженных социальных сетях помогают менеджерам грамотно балансировать между инновационным развитием и получением устойчивого дохода от зрелых направлений бизнеса (Rogan & Mors, 2014), что имеет решающее значение для выживания организации (O'Reilly & Tushman, 2008) и, следовательно, повышает спрос на таких менеджеров. ...
... As this treats individuals who have had a career prior to joining CHEM similar to engineers who may just have graduated, we included Age of the respondent as well, measured in year. Department Size as well as Business Unit were included as control variables as networking and exchange opportunities can differ if the size of an immediate group of laboratory scientists in an actor's environment varies (Tortoriello, 2015) -the laboratory studied at CHEM was subdivided into two Business Units and these are further divided into departments. CHEM has 12 departments in total in this laboratory. ...
... (Lawson & Samson, 2001) define innovation capability as the ability to continuously transform knowledge and ideas into new products, processes and systems that benefit the company and its stakeholders. The ability of the company's innovation is basically an accumulation of innovation capabilities from individuals in the company (Tortoriello, 2014). Therefore, ability to acquire and use external knowledge from these individuals is very important in the process (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990). ...
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Expatriate is one of the potential sources of knowledge for firms to increase their capability in creating innovation. Currently, Indonesia has a relatively small number of expatriates but the figure tends to increase overtime. This country has experienced a changing nature of expatriation that brings consequences to several conditions for the achievement of successful knowledge transfer (KT) from expatriates to local employee in Indonesian local firms. This paper proposes a new concept namely Knowledge Transfer Readiness (KTR) which is beneficial in helping the firms to deal with the changing nature. Combining grounded research and multiple case studies to apply this concept to the Indonesian local firms, it is argued that not all of the elements in KTR’s dimensions must be fulfilled in excellent conditions. Weak elements from the source’s side can be surmounted by fulfilling excellent condition of recipient’s side, and vice versa. Nevertheless, there are elements that must be fulfilled in excellent condition of both sides, or becomes absolute requirements solely for the expatriates. The fulfillment of KTR’s elements influences the relationship qualities between expatriates and local employees to achieve Knowledge Transfer Quality (KTQ). The KTQ includes the amount and the accuracy of knowledge and depth of understanding, so it can be a new option of qualitative indicator to measure the success of KT.
... The structures of such knowledge-transfer networks can determine the capabilities and eventually performance of project team members (Reagans and McEvily 2003). For example, project network structures can determine individuals' roles, responsibilities, and power in decision making (Davison et al. 2012), their opportunities to access required knowledge for their tasks (Chinowsky et al. 2011), the degree of match between their cognitive capacities and received knowledge (Tortoriello 2015), and levels of trust or opportunistic behavior in knowledge-transfer interactions with others (Coleman 1988). ...
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Networks in complex interorganizational engineering project teams are shaped by individuals' actions to perform specific project functions. These networks are dynamic; they change based on project needs, and each network structure influences the next. Particularly, this study examines how temporary knowledge-transfer networks in architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) project teams emerge and evolve during project delivery, adopting different structures that are interdependent. We longitudinally analyzed the knowledge-transfer networks of an AEC project team with 79 to 102 members via statistical and qualitative analyses. Results showed that a core-periphery structure originally emerged in the project team network to support team coordination. Later, triangles among core and peripheral members emerged without disassembling the core-periphery structure and generating cohesive subgroups for deep knowledge transfers among team members. The findings shed light on the dynamic nature of knowledge-transfer networks in complex interorganizational project teams. Via informed network interventions, project managers can support knowledge-transfer structures that help improve team and project performance.
... A difusão de uma inovação (Portal de Periódicos da Capes) pelos indivíduos está atrelada à posição que eles ocupam na rede de compartilhamento, pois sua imagem está associada a suas ações que são incentivos para os integrantes dessa rede de reconhecimento da imagem do indivíduo (TORTORIELLO, 2015). ...
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Resumo A pesquisa investiga se os bibliotecários possuem a mesma percepção dos usuários de uso e difusão da inovação do Portal de Periódicos da Capes. O objetivo do trabalho é comparar a percepção de usuários assíduos e de bibliotecários help desk na adoção da inovação e difusão do Portal de Periódicos da Capes. O estudo é bibliográfico, descritivo e de campo, com abordagem quantitativa. A coleta de dados dos indicadores (Uso, Compatibilidade, Demonstração de Resultado, Experimentação, Facilidade de Uso, Imagem, Vantagem Relativa, Visibilidade e Resultado do Uso) foi realizada por meio de questionário enviado por e-mail. Os usuários assíduos tendem a concordar ou a concordar totalmente com os indicadores: Uso, Compatibilidade, Demonstração de Resultados, Vantagem Relativa e Resultado do Uso. Os bibliotecários help desk tendem a concordar ou a concordar totalmente com todos os indicadores. A diferença estatística dos indicadores entre usuários assíduos e bibliotecários help desk mostra que todos os indicadores possuem maior concordância para os bibliotecários help desk. Dessa forma, neste estudo, conclui-se que o valor da informação é medido pela adoção e difusão do Portal de Periódicos da Capes e que o comportamento de uso do Portal, tanto pelos usuários assíduos como pelos bibliotecários help desk, possui diferentes influências, como fatores culturais, sociais e pessoais. Palavras-chave: Portal de Periódicos da Capes. Usuários. Bibliotecários. Abstract The research investigates if librarians and users have the same perception of use and spread of the Capes' Portal of Electronic Journals. The study's objective is to compare the perception of frequent users and help desk librarians in adoption and spread of the Capes' Portal of Electronic Journals. This is a bibliographical, descriptive and field study, which uses a quantitative approach. Data from indicators (Use, Compatibility, Result Report, Experimentation, Ease of Use, Image, Relative Advantage, Visibility and Use Result) collected by questionnaires sent by e-mail. Frequent users tend to agree or fully agree with the indicators: Use, Compatibility, Result Report, Relative Advantage and Use Result). Help desk librarians tend to agree or fully agree with all indicators. Statistical difference on indicators between frequent users and help desk librarians shows that all indicators present a greater agreement for help desk librarians. Thus, in this study, we concluded that the information value is measured by the adoption and spread of the Capes' Portal of Electronic Journals and that the Portal using behavior, both by frequent users and help desk librarians, has different influences, such as cultural, social and personal factors.
... Además de la mencionada capacidad de absorción, la de creación de conocimiento tienen un efecto sinérgico en la innovación (Su et al., 2013), lo cual depende de la posición de quien interviene dentro de la empresa (Tortoriello, 2015). De tal forma que hay evidencia de una relación positiva entre el proceso de creación de conocimiento y la innovación de productos y procesos (Alshanty y Emeagwali, 2019), cuyo proceso puede ser facilitado por las plataformas digitales de innovación abierta (Abbate et al., 2021). ...
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Objetivo: determinar el impacto de la generación del conocimiento y la estructura organizacional sobre la capacidad de innovación en las MIPYMES de software en Sonora. Metodología: se aplicó un instrumento a 52 empresas, cuya información generada se analizó a través del método de mínimos cuadrados parciales mediante el software Smart PLS. Resultados: las empresas que generan conocimiento y están estructuralmente organizadas, impactan en su capacidad de innovación, comprobándose las hipótesis. Limitaciones: se analizaron solo las MIPYMES de los principales municipios del estado de Sonora. Los hallazgos pudieran servir como insumo para futuras investigaciones en las que se incluirán a las grandes empresas del sector, con un enfoque comparativo a nivel internacional y determinar diferencias, así como similitudes que permitan cerrar la brecha del conocimiento. Conclusión: las empresas necesitan combinar los recursos, el conocimiento y la facilidad organizacional con la que cuentan para lograr el éxito en su capacidad de innovación.
... El aprovechar le conocimiento externo no solo convierte a la empresa más vanguardista a los cambios que suceden en el mercado sino que tambien incrementa la competitividad en la organización, la capacidad de absorción permite a las empresas incluirse en un esquema de gestión de conocimiento optimo para la organizacón según Tortoriello (2015). ...
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El entorno competitivo actual con el que se enfrentan las empresas cada vez es más complejo por lo que el constante cambio en las organizaciones se convierte en una necesidad. La capacidad dinámica de absorción del conocimiento juega un papel determinante para la competitividad en las empresas y para la generación de valor de las mismas, dicha capacidad consta de las fases de adquisición, asimilación, transformación y explotación del conocimiento con la finalidad de generar nuevo conocimiento y así incentivar el ecosistema de innovación organizacional. Por medio del método de análisis de varianza ANOVA de un factor se determinó con un nivel de confianza del 95% que el sector y la antigüedad de la empresa presentan variaciones estadísticamente significativas en la perspectiva de los empresarios con relación a las dimensiones de la capacidad dinámica de absorción del conocimiento.
... Tanto la diversidad como la ubicuidad son variables determinantes de la complejidad económica, ambas son sumamente necesarias para llevar a cabo los cálculos necesarios en busca de los resultados de complejidad, no obstante, la misma búsqueda de diversificación de los productos, surge el decremento de ubicuidad de los mismos dentro del mismo proceso de especialización de las actividades económicas, por lo tanto, una economía diversificada tiende a producir bienes y servicios poco ubicuos o poco imitables, Pérez, Moheno y Salazar (2019) denominan la diversidad cuando una entidad económica se introduce a líneas nuevas de producción fomentado el desarrollo de la empresa. Según Grant (1991) citado por Tortoriello (2015) cuando los procesos productivos tienden a ser más complejos, estos conllevan mayor conocimiento aplicado, por lo tanto, de los mismos recursos puede iniciar el proceso de crear nuevos productos o bien, especializarse en los mismos haciendo que sus productos tengan mayor valor agregado para el cliente disminuyendo el grado de ubicuidad de los mismos. ...
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El objetivo del artículo es determinar el nivel de complejidad mediante el cálculo de diversidad y ubicuidad de los 5 municipios más importantes de Sinaloa, México. Se empleó la información oficial del Atlas de Complejidad Económica de México para aplicar el método de matrices binarias con la fórmula de ventajas comparativas y el cálculo de las variables diversidad y ubicuidad según la metodología teórica. Los resultados indican que Culiacán con diversidad de 131 y con 1,5124 en ubicuidad, es el municipio con mayor complejidad económica y el más competitivo en cuanto a su desempeño de aprovechamiento de recursos, por lo que se genera nuevo y productivo conocimiento acerca de la complejidad productiva de cada uno de los principales municipios de Sinaloa. La metodología aplicada mediante los cálculos realizados muestra adecuadamente el nivel de complejidad económica de los municipios más importantes de Sinaloa, México.
... In addition to focusing on the network attributes of R&D networks, scholars also actively explore the impact of R&D networks. Marco and Tortoriello found that the impact of external knowledge on individual innovation ability depends on the position of individuals in internal social networks [7] . Yang et al. explored the impact of relationship risk on enterprise knowledge flow from the perspective of network power [8] . ...
... For example, Tsai (2001) researched two large MNEs and found organizational units can produce more new products than other internal units when they are central to the knowledge transfer network of the MNE. Tortoriello (2015) certified that in the internal MNE network, when individuals (e.g., employees) were located in rich structural holes, they could leverage knowledge from others more effectively toward the generation of new patents. ...
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In this paper we perform a systematic literature review of the diverse and somewhat fragmented current state of research on firms’ internationalization and innovation. We analyze 207 key works from 1989 through 2020 and synthesize them into an internationalization process framework that conceptually maps key internationalization-related antecedents and moderators that influence innovation behaviors and outcomes. Through an internationalization process framework, we categorize existing relevant studies into three key stages: (a) the pre-internationalization stage, (b) the internationalization entry stage, and (c) the post-internationalization stage. Furthermore, we review how firms’ various strategic decisions and operations in different stages influence their innovations by elaborating the moderating role of external country/region institutions and firm internal characteristics. Building on this review, we provide suggestions for future research to advance the developments of this domain.
... To develop our arguments, we anchor on a rich stream of literature that has emphasized the role of external technology sources on innovation performance [8]- [15]. The extant literature on open innovation has highlighted the importance of the interplay between external technology and in-house innovation routines. ...
Article
Objective. Design a model that shows what factors favor the development of technological innovation in manufacturing companies of medium-low and low technological intensity. Methodology. A sample of 1106 manufacturing companies that participated in the innovation surveys in 2012 and 2015 was used, applying the partial structural equations approach and estimating the invariance between the two groups. Results. The results of this study from the structural model, which allow obtaining the positive and statistically significant coefficients, which allow empirically validating the hypotheses. Conclusions. It was evidenced that non-technological innovation, absorption capacity and technologicalacquisition favor technological innovation in companies with low technological intensity.This article confirms that manufacturing companies should guide efforts to improve their capacity for innovation.
Article
Purpose This study focuses on resolving empirical inconsistencies in the relationship between external search breadth and innovation performance. Based on research on the knowledge-based view and innovation barriers, three internal barriers that weaken the effectiveness of external search breadth are discerned: information, rigidity and financial barriers. Design/methodology/approach For empirical analysis, the Korean Innovation Survey 2016 of manufacturing firms was utilized. This study defines innovation performance as the number of patent applications and new product introduction that are analyzed through zero-inflated negative binomial and logistic regressions, respectively. Findings The empirical analysis showed three findings. First, external search breadth has a positive relationship with the number of patent applications but not with new product introduction. Second, financial barrier weakens the positive association of external search breadth with the number of patent applications. Third, the interactions of external search breadth with the three internal barriers are negatively related to new product introduction. Originality/value This study makes two theoretical contributions. First, by examining barriers to external knowledge search, this research helps identify potential bottlenecks in this search. Second, the study reveals that the effectiveness of external search breadth may have a boundary in firm innovation by showing that this search affects patent application and new product introduction differently.
Article
Purpose Prior research on supply chain management has advanced substantially our understanding of how suppliers’ knowledge affects manufacturers’ green innovation. However, overlooking the suppliers’ diverse green knowledge in supplier networks, namely, green knowledge diversity, has limited our understanding of both supply chain management and green innovation development. To address this important issue, this study aims to rely on social network theory as the overarching framework and knowledge-based view as the underlying theoretical foundation to examine how green knowledge diversity contributes to manufacturers’ green innovation performance, while considering three types of supplier network properties (network strength, network heterogeneity and network density). Design/methodology/approach This study collects both survey and secondary proxy data from 209 manufacturing firms over three time periods (mid-2018, mid-2019 and mid-2020). PROCESS macro is applied to test the research hypotheses. Findings The results provide compelling evidence that green knowledge management processes partially mediate the effect of green knowledge diversity on manufacturers’ green innovation performance. The effect of green knowledge diversity is strengthened by supplier network strength and supplier network heterogeneity, but hindered by supplier network density. Practical implications This study provides a practical guide to help manufacturers enhance green innovation performance by properly managing and leveraging their suppliers’ diverse green knowledge domains in supplier networks. Originality/value This study contributes to the supply chain management and green innovation literature by offering novel theoretical and empirical insights into how manufacturers can use their supplier networks to strengthen green innovation.
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We study the connection between communication network structure and an organization’s collective adaptability to a shifting environment. Research has shown that network centralization—the degree to which communication flows disproportionately through one or more members of the organization rather than being more equally distributed—interferes with collective problem-solving by obstructing the integration of existing ideas, information, and solutions in the network. We hypothesize that the mechanisms responsible for that poor integration of ideas, information, and solutions would nevertheless prove beneficial for problems requiring adaptation to a shifting environment. We conducted a 1,620-subject randomized online laboratory experiment, testing the effect of seven network structures on problem-solving success. To simulate a shifting environment, we designed a murder mystery task and manipulated when each piece of information could be found: early information encouraged an inferior consensus, requiring a collective shift of solution after more information emerged. We find that when the communication network within an organization is more centralized, it achieves the benefits of connectivity (spread of novel better solutions) without the costs (getting stuck on an existing inferior solution). We also find, however, that these benefits of centralization only materialize in networks with two-way flow of information and not when information only flows from the center of the network outward (as can occur in hierarchical structures or digitally mediated communication). We draw on these findings to reconceptualize theory on the impact of centralization—and how it affects conformity pressure (lock-in) and awareness of diverse ideas (learning)—on collective problem-solving that demands adaptation.
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Relying on resource dependence theory (RDT), this study investigates the antecedents of inter-organisational R&D cooperation formation in the context of Chinese manufacturing firms over the period of 2012–2017. We found that environmental dynamism promotes R&D cooperation formation; firm size, structural holes, and regional market intermediary weaken the positive effect of environmental dynamism on R&D cooperation formation. The findings provide a more fine-grained understanding of antecedents of R&D cooperation formation. The practical implications and future research are also emphasised.
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Building on recent efforts to bring a socio-political perspective to social capital research, we develop and test a multilevel framework that explains why middle managers who occupy brokerage positions differ in their ability and willingness to engage in entrepreneurial behavior. More specifically, we provide a contextualized understanding of the links among middle managers’ brokerage, their political-support ties, and their personal initiative. Results derived from data on 383 middle managers and 72 top managers in 34 business units indicate that political-support ties with top managers strengthen the relationship between middle managers’ brokerage and personal initiative. However, this positive effect depends on the social capital resources available in the focal business unit. It is attenuated in business units with a supportive and trusting social context and amplified in business units with high levels of internal connectedness. By uncovering these incompatibilities and complementarities, our study demonstrates the value of accounting for different social capital configurations and the interplay of their inherent social capital resources when examining the effects of brokerage on corporate entrepreneurship.
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Building upon the gender role congruity theory, in this paper, we propose that the association between gender diversity and venture performance changes when roles played by individuals are not coherent with the gender-derived expectations of their ascribed social group. We test our theory in the context of early stage financing, investigating how gender diversity between entrepreneurs and VC managers influences the investment performance of VC-backed firms. Our sample consists of 5800 VC managers, who invested in 5075 different ventures in the period 2000–2019 and of 16,713 venture founders. We find that gender diversity is associated with better performance only when a female entrepreneur is matched to a male VC manager. Our analysis sheds light on the presence of several factors that moderate the observed association, related to the VC’s ability to provide value-added services to the invested ventures.
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The mechanism of knowledge diffusion in collaborative innovation projects has long been a controversial topic, partly due to the lack of attention to actors. The characteristics of actors in projects directly affect individual diffusion behaviour and, in turn, the whole process of knowledge diffusion. The interactions among actors in knowledge diffusion can be abstractly expressed as a network. In prior research, the network characteristics related to knowledge diffusion are confined to the dimensions of network relationships, and the attributes of network nodes have received limited attention. For this reason, this paper focuses on two characteristics, network density and project roles, which are argued to have a considerable correlation with knowledge diffusion in collaborative innovation projects. As knowledge diffusion in a project is a complex and dynamic process, an agent-based modelling approach was employed to construct a simulation model of knowledge diffusion. A case study was conducted that included three parallel simulation experiments with different network characteristics. The results show that (a) the adjustment of network density within a specific range is positively correlated with the extent of knowledge diffusion; (b) the role division of network nodes has a negative impact on the overall extent of knowledge diffusion; and (c) the role division of network nodes has a particular moderating effect on the relationship between density and the extent of diffusion. This research reveals the mechanism of knowledge diffusion in collaborative innovation projects, which provides theoretical guidance for designing the relational structure and the roles of actors in practice.
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A key premise in innovation literature suggests that individuals enabling contact between pairs of otherwise disconnected others (i.e., holding open triads) are more innovative, as they benefit from more opportunities for knowledge recombination. Such benefits also come with a cost, as conducting innovative action from open triads requires finding common ground to coordinate and integrate disparate knowledge and efforts from unconnected others. However, it is yet unclear which specific open triadic structures offer the greatest net value to facilitate individual innovativeness. We contribute to this debate by going beyond a homogeneous conceptualization of open triads, examining the relation between different brokerage roles and individual innovativeness. We theorize that some roles are more balanced than others in terms of access to knowledge novelty and integration costs. Specifically, we find that balanced open triads (gatekeepers and itinerant roles) are crucial to facilitate individual innovativeness, as compared to unbalanced open triads (coordinator and liaison roles). We also propose that brokers obtain the greatest innovation benefits from balanced open triads when they are embedded in institutional settings that are distant from knowledge applicability. We test our ideas through a large‐scale study of 1.010 biomedical scientists.
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This study investigates how intraorganizational search behavior of R&D professionals is shaped by the organizational design for task collaboration between R&D units. More precisely, we examine how formally prescribed R&D unit task collaboration and the distinct roles of R&D units as recipients and sources in such collaboration affect how intensively unit members search for advice and knowledge. To this end, we integrate theoretical mechanisms from knowledge search and organizational design literatures into models explaining the emergence of work-related advice networks among employees in corporate R&D. Empirically, we capture the influence of unit-level task collaboration on individual-level search by applying exponential random graph modelling to multilevel network data collected on 193 employees belonging to 38 R&D units in a leading German high-tech firm. Results show that the extent to which R&D units function as recipients in unit task collaboration on the one hand and as sources on the other influences unit members’ search intensity in opposite ways. Members of units functioning as recipients for many other units search less intensively, i.e., there is a substitution effect. Conversely, if R&D units are sources for many other units, their members search more intensively. The latter complementarity effect is weaker for R&D units that are specialized on a particular product component.
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Engaging with knowledge from an emerging field, with its promises and limitations still uncertain, can be challenging for incumbent firms. Proponents of novel technologies within these firms then play an important role in bridging the developments in the field with the rest of the firm. In this study, we explore how researchers in big pharma firms engaged with knowledge from a promising, yet once-speculative approach called fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD). To set the context, we mapped the publications and drugs in clinical trials coming from this approach across big pharma firms. Through our unique access to researchers in two big pharma firms (an early and a late adopter), we conducted a case study to explore how researchers built the capability within their firms. We find that at each stage of knowledge absorption (search and recognize value, assimilate, acquire, transform and exploit), proponents perform both internal- and external-facing activities to overcome uncertainties with regards to the field. We find that the emphasis of these activities evolves over time as the field evolves. In the early days of the field, proponents of the approach motivated knowledge absorption by emphasizing the internal needs of the firm. As the field matured, with its value becoming increasingly known, proponents lean on the exciting developments in the field to motivate further the adoption of the technology. In general, we find that proponents strategically tuned their external activities to cater to their internal context and similarly, adapted their internal activities to reflect external developments. By exploring interfacing in an emerging field, this study provides insights into how practitioners in large incumbent firms can adapt to the emergence of novel technologies.
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Dual embeddedness of inventors’ cooperative networks influences firm innovation. This paper explores the mechanism of synergy between network structural embeddedness (network centrality and structural hole) and relational embeddedness (relational strength) on firm innovation using data from Chinese listed automobile companies. This paper further explores the mediating role of exploitative learning and exploratory learning between the synergy of cooperative network dual embeddedness and innovation. The results show that the synergy of network centrality and relational strength hinders innovation, while the synergy of the structural hole and relational strength promotes innovation. The synergy of centrality and relational strength hinders exploitative learning, while the synergy of the structural hole and relational strength promotes exploitative learning. Exploitative learning plays a mediating role between synergy of structure and relational embeddedness and innovation.
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A pesquisa mensurou o grau inovativo das cooperativas do agronegócio da região nordeste do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil por meio do radar de inovação de Tidd, Bessant e Pavitt (2008). O índice de inovação efetivo das cooperativas, que fora obtido por meio de pesquisa qualitativa tipo estudos intercasos, contempla a mensuração da estratégia, processo, organização, aprendizagem e relacionamento, é de 72,40%. Entre os construtos que obtiveram os maiores escores estão o relacionamento 76,23%, organização 75,49% e aprendizagem 73,86%. Os construtos estratégia e processo obtiveram os menores índices, 68,77% e 67,71%, respectivamente. Para potencializar os limitantes do grau inovativo propõem-se um teamwork diversificado e reduzido, a partir dos eixos sistemas de controle formal e rotina de alto nível ambos sustentados pela competência organizacional. O framework é limitado as cooperativas do estudo, não devendo seus resultados serem extrapolados no escopo temporal e geográfico. Pesquisas adicionais poderiam mensurar a eficiência do framework após sua implementação gerencial.
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A useful theoretical lens for understanding innovation in the strategy and entrepreneurship literatures is knowledge recombination. According to a recombination logic, innovations come about by recombining knowledge components, each of which is associated with a core scientific or technological concept. Interactions among a set of recombined components give rise to new meanings and functions that become the basis of an innovation. The singular focus on the components of knowledge underlying an innovation makes knowledge recombination stand out from other theoretical approaches. The rapid growth in research utilizing a recombination logic suggests that the time is ripe for stepping back and assessing its key insights. Therefore, this review provides a framework for a recombination perspective and considers how the literature using a recombination approach has progressed over time, including identification of key features of knowledge components, influences on how components are recombined, and the outcomes of recombination. Finally, a number of new directions for research are proposed.
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Promoting home-country industrial innovation via overseas mergers and acquisitions (M&A) integration is crucial for latecomers. However, the transmission mechanism for innovation remains unclear. Taking the resource-based view, we apply network theory to illustrate this cross-level process. Based on technology-sourcing overseas M&A samples in China, a mediating effect model shows that with a lower resource similarity level, a higher resource complementarity level and a lower external network embeddedness, the acquirer should choose a lower integration degree to improve internal and external knowledge-network reconfiguration, thus benefiting home-country industrial innovation. Our findings help enrich overseas M&A research on enterprise’s dual-network embeddedness and help latecomers catch up.
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Purpose Knowledge search is considered a broad concept and semi-intentional behavior. The path and boundary conditions through which search strategies affect intra-organizational knowledge creation remain elusive. Drawing on recombinant search theory and knowledge-based view, the authors seek to identify knowledge complexity as an important intermediate variable between knowledge search and innovation performance, such as research and development (R&D) output and R&D output quality. A second goal of this study is to examine the moderating roles of government support and technological turbulence. Design/methodology/approach The authors employed a longitudinal panel of 609 global pharmaceutical firms and obtained the firms' patent records from 1980 to 2015 for the analysis. The authors used generalized estimating equations (GEE) to evaluate the models and tested the consistency via panel fixed-effects estimations. Findings The authors' findings show that organizational routine-guided search has a negative effect on knowledge complexity, while routine-changing search exerts a positive impact on knowledge complexity. Governmental support and technological turbulence moderate these relationships. Notably, knowledge complexity has an inverted U-shaped relationship with innovation performance. Research limitations/implications The authors' research context, the pharmaceutical industry, may constrain the generalizability of our findings. In addition, potential types of routine-guided and routine-changing search behaviors were not considered. Practical implications Despite these limitations, this study offers important implications. First, knowledge complexity transmits the effects of knowledge search on innovation performance. Practitioners should balance routine-guided and routine-changing search processes to build and manage complex knowledge. Second, a moderate level of knowledge complexity is the key to good R&D output and R&D output quality. Originality/value The study identifies knowledge complexity as one important intermediate variable between knowledge search behaviors and intra-organizational knowledge creation.
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Much of the prior research on interorganizational learning has focused on the role of absorptive capacity, a firm's ability to value, assimilate, and utilize new external knowledge. However, this definition of the construct suggests that a firm has an equal capacity to learn from all other organizations. We reconceptualize the Jinn-level construct absorptive capacity as a learning dyad-level construct, relative absorptive capacity. One firm's ability to learn from another firm is argued to depend on the similarity of both firms' (1) knowledge bases, (2) organizational structures and compensation policies, and (3) dominant logics. We then test the model using a sample of pharmaceutical-biotechnology RED alliances. As predicted, the similarity of the partners' basic knowledge, lower management formalization, research centralization, compensation practices, and research communities were positively related to interorganizational learning. The relative absorptive capacity measures are also shown to have greater explanatory power than the established measure of absorptive capacity, R&D spending. (C) 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Explanations of productivity differences between men and women in science tend to focus on the academic sector and the individual level. This article examines how variation in organizational logic affects sex differences in scientists' commercial productivity, as measured by patenting. Using detailed data from a sample of academic and industrial life scientists working in the United States, the authors present multivariate regression models of scientific patenting. The data show that controlling for education- and career-history variables, women are less likely to patent than men. However, in biotechnology firms—industrial settings characterized by flatter, more flexible, network-based organizational structures— women scientists are more likely to become patent-holding inventors than in more hierarchically arranged organizational settings in industry or academia. The authors discuss how the organization of scientists'work settings may influence enduring disparities between men and women in science and the implications of these findings for future work.
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This paper presents a model of innovation, knowledge brokering, that explains how some organizations are able to routinely innovate by recombining their past knowledge in new ways. While existing theories of organizational learning and innovation are useful, the links between them are crucial for understanding how existing knowledge becomes the raw materials from which individuals in organizations construct innovative solutions. This model develops these links by grounding processes of learning and innovation in the larger social context within which they occur. Using a microsociological perspective, this article draws together research spanning levels of analysis to explain innovation as the dissembling and reassembling of extant ideas, artifacts, and people. Previous research has suggested that firms spanning multiple domains may innovate by moving ideas from where they are known to where they are not, in the process creating new combinations of existing ideas. This paper more fully develops this process by linking the cognitive, social, and structural activities it comprises. Knowledge brokering involves exploiting the preconditions for innovation that reside within the larger social structure by bridging multiple domains, learning about the resources within those domains, linking that knowledge to new situations, and finally building new networks around the innovations that emerge from the process. This article also considers the origins of knowledge brokers as firms committed to this innovation strategy, the structural and cultural supports for the knowledge brokering process, and several obstacles to the process that these firms experience. Finally, I discuss the implications of this model for further research on innovation and learning, and the implications for other organizations seeking to establish their own capabilities for brokering knowledge.
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A critical factor in industrial competitiveness is the ability of firms to exploit new technological developments. We term this ability a firm's absorptive capacity and argue that such a capability not only enables a firm to exploit new extramural knowledge, but to predict more accurately the nature of future technological advances. We develop a stylized model in which we focus exclusively on firms' decisions to invest in their absorptive capacities. We first examine a monopolist's investment decision, analyzing the path dependence of its investment and the effect of uncertainty. We then consider the effect of competition by modeling the impact of entry on an incumbent's investment behavior. Implications for management and public policy are then discussed.
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This paper examines interfirm knowledge transfers within strategic alliances. Using a new measure of changes in alliance partners' technological capabilities, based on the citation patterns of their patent portfolios, we analyze changes in the extent to which partner firms' technological resources ‘overlap’ as a result of alliance participation. This measure allows us to test hypotheses from the literature on interfirm knowledge transfer in alliances, with interesting results: we find support for some elements of this ‘received wisdom’—equity arrangements promote greater knowledge transfer, and ‘absorptive capacity’ helps explain the extent of technological capability transfer, at least in some alliances. But the results also suggest limits to the ‘capabilities acquisition’ view of strategic alliances. Consistent with the argument that alliance activity can promote increased specialization, we find that the capabilities of partner firms become more divergent in a substantial subset of alliances.
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The field of strategic management is predicated fundamentally on the idea that managements' decisions are endogenous to their expected performance implications. Yet, based on a review of more than a decade of empirical research in the Strategic Management Journal, we find that few papers econometrically correct for such endogeneity. In response, we now describe the endogeneity problem for cross-sectional and panel data, referring specifically to management's choice among discrete strategies with continuous performance outcomes. We then present readily implementable econometric methods to correct for endogeneity and, when feasible, provide STATA code to ease implementation. We also discuss extensions and nuances of these models that are sometimes difficult to decipher in more standard treatments. These extensions are not typically discussed in the strategy literature, but they are, in fact, highly pertinent to empirical strategic management research.
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In this article, we study the conditions under which having ties that span organizational boundaries (bridging ties) are conducive to the generation of innovations. Whereas previous research has shown that bridging ties have a positive impact on innovative performance, our analysis of 276 R&D scientists and engineers reveals that there are no advantages associated with bridging per se. In contrast, our findings suggest that the advantages traditionally associated with bridging ties are contingent upon the nature of the ties forming the bridge—specifically, whether these bridging ties are Simmelian. Funding for this research was provided by the Ewing
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We conduct a detailed analysis of 289 absorptive capacity papers from 14 journals to assess how the construct has been utilized, examine the key papers in the field, and identify the substantive contributions to the broader literature using a thematic analysis. We argue that research in this area is fundamentally driven by five critical assumptions that we conclude have led to its reification and that this reification has led to stifling of research in this area. To address this, we propose a model of absorptive capacity processes, antecedents, and outcomes.
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A central part of the innovation process concerns the way firms go about organizing search for new ideas that have commercial potential. New models of innovation have suggested that many innovative firms have changed the way they search for new ideas, adopting open search strategies that involve the use of a wide range of external actors and sources to help them achieve and sustain innovation. Using a large-scale sample of industrial firms, this paper links search strategy to innovative performance, finding that searching widely and deeply is curvilinearly (taking an inverted U-shape) related to performance. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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In this paper, we argue that the ability of a firm to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends is critical to its innovative capabilities. We label this capability a firm's absorptive capacity and suggest that it is largely a function of the firm's level of prior related knowledge. The discussion focuses first on the cognitive basis for an individual's absorptive capacity including, in particular, prior related knowledge and diversity of background. We then characterize the factors that influence absorptive capacity at the organizational level, how an organization's absorptive capacity differs from that of its individual members, and the role of diversity of expertise within an organization. We argue that the development of absorptive capacity, and, in turn, innovative performance are history- or path-dependent and argue how lack of investment in an area of expertise early on may foreclose the future development of a technical capability in that area. We formulate a model of firm investment in research and development (R&D), in which R&D contributes to a firm's absorptive capacity, and test predictions relating a firm's investment in R&D to the knowledge underlying technical change within an industry. Discussion focuses on the implications of absorptive capacity for the analysis of other related innovative activities, including basic research, the adoption and diffusion of innovations, and decisions to participate in cooperative R&D ventures.
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Research indicates that certain boundary spanning individuals, labelled gatekeepers, can be an important linking mechanism between organizations and their external environments. This study investigates the role of gatekeepers in the transfer of information in a single R&D setting by comparing directly the performance of project groups with and without gatekeepers. Results indicate that gatekeepers perform a linking role only for projects performing tasks that are locally oriented, while universally oriented tasks were most effectively linked to external areas by direct project member communication. Evidence also suggests that gatekeepers do more than mediate external information; they appear to facilitate the external communication of their more local project colleagues. Direct contact and contact mediated by gatekeepers, then, are two contrasting ways to link project groups with their external areas. The relative effectiveness of these linking mechanisms is contingent on the nature of the project's work.
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The authors assume that firms invest in R&D not only to generate innovations, but also to learn from competitors and extraindustry knowledge sources (e.g., university and government labs). This argument suggests that the ease of learning within an industry will both affect R&D spending, and condition the influence of appropriability and technological opportunity conditions on R&D. For example, they show that, contrary to the traditional result, intraindustry spillovers may encourage equilibrium industry R&D investment. Regression results confirm that the impact of appropriability and technological opportunity conditions on R&D is influenced by the ease and character of learning. Copyright 1989 by Royal Economic Society.
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Investigating the implications of sharing different types of knowledge for task performance in a study of 164 sales teams in a management consulting company, we find that the benefits are complementary but distinct: while sharing of codified knowledge improves task efficiency, sharing of personalized knowledge improves task quality and signals competence to clients.
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This article argues that individual performance in knowledge intensive work is impacted by both relational and structural network characteristics. Egocentric and bounded network data from 101 engineers within a petrochemical company and 125 consultants within a strategy-consulting firm support the contention that both relational and structural network characteristics matter for individual performance in knowledge intensive work. Implications for a relational view of social capital as well as the integration of information processing and social network literatures are discussed. It is found that characteristics of relationships in networks are correlates of performance in models that control for structure. In this sense, not all relationships are equal--who one is connected to can matter for performance beyond a given relationship's contribution to network structure. Second, it is found that position in both information and awareness networks are uniquely predictive of individual performance. While position in an information network might allow one to learn of opportunities early, position in an awareness network might allow one to take action on opportunities by leveraging others' expertise.
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This study investigates the role of certain boundary spanning individuals, labelled gatekeepers, in the transfer of information in an R&D setting by comparing the performance of project groups with and without gatekeepers. Results indicate that gatekeepers perform a linking role only for projects performing tasks that are locally oriented while universally oriented tasks were most effectively linked to external areas by direct project member communication. Evidence also suggests that gatekeepers do more than mediate external information; they may facilitate the external communication of their more local project colleagues.
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Internationalizing research and development is often advocated as a strategy for fostering the development of technological capabilities. Although firms conduct international R&D to tap into knowledge bases that reside in foreign countries, we argue that in order to benefit from international R&D investments firms must already possess research capabilities in underlying or complementary technologies. We examine the international R&D expansion activities, research capabilities, and patent output of 65 Japanese pharmaceutical firms from 1980 to 1991. We find that firms benefit from international R&D only when they possess existing research capabilities in the underlying technologies. In addition to refining our understanding of when international R&D enhances firm innovation, our results integrate asset-seeking and asset-based theories of foreign direct investment. Internationalizing R&D to tap into foreign knowledge bases is consistent with asset-seeking theories of foreign direct investment, while the contingent nature by which firms benefit from international R&D is consistent with asset-based theories of foreign direct investment and the notion of absorptive capacity. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Prior research has emphasized the importance of boundary spanners in facilitating the transfer of knowledge between organizational units. The successful transfer of knowledge between organizational units is critical for a number of organizational processes and performance outcomes. The empirical evidence on the success of boundary spanners is mixed, however. Research findings indicate boundary spanners can either facilitate or inhibit the flow of knowledge between organizational units. We develop and test a theoretical argument emphasizing the importance of the broader network context in which boundary spanning occurs. In particular, we consider how tie strength, network cohesion, and network range affect the level of knowledge acquired in cross-unit knowledge transfer relationships. An analysis of knowledge transfer relationships among several hundred scientists indicates that each network feature had a positive effect on the level of knowledge acquired in cross-unit knowledge transfer relationships. Our findings illustrate how network features contribute to the flow of knowledge between organizational units and, therefore, how network context contributes to heterogeneity in boundary-spanning outcomes.
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Technical communication patterns in two research and development laboratories were examined using modified sociometric techniques. The structure of technical communication networks in the two laboratories results from the interaction of both social relations and work structure. The sociometric "stars" in the technical communication network who provide other members of the organization with information either make greater use of individuals outside the organization or read the literature more than other members of the laboratory.
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The research described in this article focuses on one important aspect of the innovation process - the need for the innovating system to gather information from and transmit information to several external information areas. Special boundary roles evolve in the organization's communication network to fulfill the essential function of linking the organization's internal network to external sources of information. These boundary roles occur at several organizational boundaries, and their distribution within the organization is contingent on the nature of the organization's work. This research supports literature on boundary spanning in general and highlights the importance of boundary roles in the process of innovation.
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Data on social networks may be gathered for all ties linking elements of a closed population (“complete” network data) or for the sets of ties surrounding sampled individual units (“egocentric” network data). Network data have been obtained via surveys and questionnaires, archives, observation, diaries, electronic traces, and experiments. Most methodological research on data quality concerns surveys and questionnaires. The question of the accuracy with which informants can provide data on their network ties is nontrivial, but survey methods can make some claim to reliability. Unresolved issues include whether to measure perceived social ties or actual exchanges, how to treat temporal elements in the definition of relationships, and whether to seek accurate descriptions or reliable indicators. Continued research on data quality is needed; beyond improved samples and further investigation of the informant accuracy/reliability issue, this should cover common indices of network structure, address the conseque...
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This field study investigates the characteristics of internal communication stars for different tasks, the characteristics of boundary spanning individuals specializing in particular information areas, and the extent to which boundary spanning individuals span multiple c cation boundaries. The characteristics of these key individuals are contingent on the nature of the subunit's work and on the information boundary they span. In addition, there is substantial boundary role overlap.
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This research considers how different features of informal networks affect knowledge transfer. As a complement to previous research that has emphasized the dyadic tie strength component of informal networks, we focus on how network structure influences the knowledge transfer process. We propose that social cohesion around a relationship affects the willingness and motivation of individuals to invest time, energy, and effort in sharing knowledge with others. We further argue that the network range, ties to different knowledge pools, increases a person's ability to convey complex ideas to heterogeneous audiences. We also examine explanations for knowledge transfer based on absorptive capacity, which emphasizes the role of common knowledge, and relational embeddedness, which stresses the importance of tie strength. We investigate the network effect on knowledge transfer using data from a contract R&D firm. The results indicate that both social cohesion and network range ease knowledge transfer, over and above the effect for the strength of the tie between two people. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on effective knowledge transfer, social capital, and information diffusion.
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Integrating creativity and social network theories, I explore the direct and interactive effects of relationship strength, network position, and external ties on individual creative contributions. Results from a study of research scientists suggest that weaker ties are generally beneficial for creativity, whereas stronger ties have neutral effects. I also found that centrality is more positively associated with creativity when individuals have few ties outside of their organization and that the combination of centrality and many outside ties is not optimal. I discuss the implications of these findings for creativity and social network research.
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We argue that individual performance in knowledge-intensive work is associated with properties of both networks and ties. Relationships crossing organizational boundaries, physical barriers, or hierarchical levels can, like networks, provide unique information and diverse perspectives to individuals completing tasks at work. Egocentric and bounded network data from 101 engineers in a petrochemical company and 125 consultants in a strategy-consulting firm support our contention that both networks and ties are related to individual performance in knowledge-intensive work.
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This article outlines the mechanism by which brokerage provides social capital. Opinion and behavior are more homogeneous within than between groups, so people connected across groups are more familiar with alternative ways of thinking and behaving. Brokerage across the structural holes between groups provides a vision of options otherwise unseen, which is the mechanism by which brokerage becomes social capital. I review evidence consistent with the hypothesis, then look at the networks around managers in a large American electronics company. The organization is rife with structural holes, and brokerage has its expected correlates. Compensation, positive performance evaluations, promotions, and good ideas are disproportionately in the hands of people whose networks span structural holes. The between-group brokers are more likely to express ideas, less likely to have ideas dismissed, and more likely to have ideas evaluated as valuable. I close with implications for creativity and structural change.
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Homophily in social relations results from both individual preferences and selective opportunities for interaction, but how these two mechanisms interact in large, contemporary organizations is not well understood. We argue that organizational structures and geography delimit opportunities for interaction such that actors have a greater level of discretion to choose their interaction partners within business units, job functions, offices and quasi-formal structures. This leads us to expect to find a higher proportion of homophilous interactions within these organizational structures than across their boundaries. We test our theory in an analysis of the rate of dyadic communication in an e-mail data set comprising thousands of employees in a large information technology firm. These findings have implications for research on homophily, gender relations in organizations, and formal and informal organizational structure.
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Much of the prior research on interorganizational learning has focused on the role of absorptive capacity, a firm's ability to value, assimilate, and utilize new external knowledge. However, this definition of the construct suggests that a firm has an equal capacity to learn from all other organizations. We reconceptualize the firm-level construct absorptive capacity as a learning dyad-level construct, relative absorptive capacity. One firm's ability to learn from another firm is argued to depend on the similarity of both firms' (1) knowledge bases, (2) organizational structures and compensation policies, and (3) dominant logics. We then test the model using a sample of pharmaceutical–biotechnology R&D alliances. As predicted, the similarity of the partners' basic knowledge, lower management formalization, research centralization, compensation practices, and research communities were positively related to interorganizational learning. The relative absorptive capacity measures are also shown to have greater explanatory power than the established measure of absorptive capacity, R&D spending. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
This paper proposes and tests a model of IJV learning and performance that segments absorptive capacity into the three components originally proposed by Cohen and Levinthal (1990). First, trust between an IJV's parents and the IJV's relative absorptive capacity with its foreign parent are suggested to influence its ability to understand new knowledge held by foreign parents. Second, an IJV's learning structures and processes are proposed to influence its ability to assimilate new knowledge from those parents. Third, the IJV's strategy and training competence are suggested to shape its ability to apply the assimilated knowledge. Revisiting the Hungarian IJVs studied by Lyles and Salk (1996) 3 years later, we find support for the knowledge understanding and application predictions, and partial support for the knowledge assimilation prediction. Unexpectedly, our results suggest that trust and management support from foreign parents are associated with IJV performance but not learning. Our model and results offer a new perspective on IJV learning and performance as well as initial insights into how those relationships change over time. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Multidivisional firms often fail to take advantage of innovations that involve combining resources from distinct divisions. This failure of cross-line-of-business innovation is a consequence of design choices employed to execute the firm's strategy: in organizing around its core businesses, the firm renders interdependence between divisions residual to the formal structure. As a result, those innovations which involve cross-line-of-business interdependence are trumped by the firm's articulated strategy and structure. Social structures could, potentially, fill this coordination gap. But social structures associated with the initiation of interdependent innovation are inversely associated with their execution. We build a dynamic, corporate-level, evolutionary model in which individuals autonomously initiate cross-line-of-business projects not through the formal structure of the firm, but using contacts from their own social networks. Some of these projects are selected and actively supported by senior executives; this support sends clear signals about what collaboration is valued by the firm, which gives other actors powerful, albeit informal, incentives to connect with others across the interunit boundary. As a result, the sparse interunit social structure that was conducive to initiation changes, becoming much more cohesive (at least locally) and is able to support execution and retain these interdependent innovations. Thus, where intra-divisional innovations are primarily driven by organizational structure, we suggest that interdivisional innovations are driven primarily by social networks. Copyright © 2007 Strategic Management Society.
Article
In a recent issue of this journal, Glenn Hoetker proposes that researchers improve the interpretation and presentation of logit and probit results by reporting the marginal effects of key independent variables at theoretically interesting or empirically relevant values of the other independent variables in the model, and also by presenting results graphically (Hoetker, 2007: 335, 337). In this research note, I suggest an alternative approach for achieving this objective: reporting differences in predicted probabilities associated with discrete changes in key independent variable values. This intuitive approach to interpretation is especially useful when the theoretically interesting or empirically relevant changes in independent variables values are not very small, and also for models that contain interaction terms (or higher-order terms such as quadratics). Although the graphical presentations recommended by Hoetker implicitly embody this approach, they typically fail to include appropriate measures of statistical significance, and may therefore lead to erroneous conclusions. In order to calculate such measures, I recommend and demonstrate an intuitive simulation-based approach to statistical interpretation, developed by King et al. (2000), that has gained widespread adherence in the field of political science. Throughout the article, I provide a running example based on research that has previously appeared in the Strategic Management Journal. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Recognition of the firm's tendency toward local search has given rise to concepts celebrating exploration that overcomes this tendency. To move beyond local search requires that exploration span some boundary, be it organizational or technological. While several studies have encouraged boundary-spanning exploration, few have considered both types of boundaries systematically. In doing so, we create a typology of exploration behaviors: local exploration spans neither boundary, external boundary-spanning exploration spans the firm boundary only, internal boundary-spanning exploration spans the technological boundary only, and radical exploration spans both boundaries. Using this typology, we analyze the impact of knowledge generated by these different types of exploration on subsequent technological evolution.In our study of patenting activity in optical disk technology, we find that exploration that does not span organizational boundaries consistently generates lower impact on subsequent technological evolution. In addition, we find that the impact of exploration on subsequent technological evolution within the optical disk domain is highest when the exploration spans organizational boundaries but not technological boundaries. At the same time, we find that the impact of exploration on subsequent technological development beyond the optical disk domain is greatest when exploration spans both organizational and technological boundaries. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
We develop a differentiated productivity model of knowledge sharing in organizations proposing that different types of knowledge have different benefits for task units. In a study of 182 sales teams in a management consulting company, we find that sharing codified knowledge in the form of electronic documents saved time during the task, but did not improve work quality or signal competence to clients. In contrast, sharing personal advice improved work quality and signaled competence, but did not save time. Beyond the content of the knowledge, process costs in the form of document rework and lack of advisor effort negatively affected task outcomes. These findings dispute the claim that different types of knowledge are substitutes for each other, and provide a micro-foundation for understanding why and how a firm's knowledge capabilities translate into performance of knowledge work. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Theories of absorptive capacity propose that knowledge gained from prior experience facilitates the identification, selection, and implementation of related profitable practices. Researchers have investigated how managers may develop absorptive capacity by building internal knowledge stocks, but few have focused on the distribution of this knowledge within the firm and the role managers play in administering information to organizational subunits. In this paper, we explore the degree to which managers can develop absorptive capacity by directly providing information to agents in the organization that might potentially adopt a new practice. We find that the effectiveness of managerial information provision depends on the degree to which potential adopters have information from other sources. We find that information from previous adopters and past events reduces the effect of information provision, while experience with related practices amplifies it. Our research helps clarify when absorptive capacity may provide a sustained competitive advantage. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
In this paper we propose a new variance estimator for OLS as well as for nonlinear estimators such as logit, probit and GMM, that provcides cluster-robust inference when there is two-way or multi-way clustering that is non-nested. The variance estimator extends the standard cluster-robust variance estimator or sandwich estimator for one-way clustering (e.g. Liang and Zeger (1986), Arellano (1987)) and relies on similar relatively weak distributional assumptions. Our method is easily implemented in statistical packages, such as Stata and SAS, that already offer cluster-robust standard errors when there is one-way clustering. The method is demonstrated by a Monte Carlo analysis for a two-way random effects model; a Monte Carlo analysis of a placebo law that extends the state-year effects example of Bertrand et al. (2004) to two dimensions; and by application to two studies in the empirical public/labor literature where two-way clustering is present.
Article
ecent research suggests that, due to organizational and relational constraints, firms are limited contextually—both geographically and technologically—in their search for new knowledge. But distant contexts may offer ideas and insights that can be extremely useful to innovation through knowledge recombination. So how can firms reach beyond their existing contexts in their search for new knowledge? In this paper, we suggest that two mechanisms— alliances and the mobility of inventors—can serve as bridges to distant contexts and, thus, enable firms to overcome the constraints of contextually localized search. Through the analysis of patent citation patterns in the semiconductor industry, we first demonstrate both the geographic and technological localization of knowledge. We then explore if the formation of alliances and mobility of active inventors facilitate interfirm knowledge flows across contexts. We find that mobility is associated with interfirm know- ledge flows regardless of geographic proximity and, in fact, the usefulness of alliances and mobility increases with technological distance. These findings suggest that firms can employ knowledge acquisition mechanisms to fill in the holes of their existing technological and geographic context. (Knowledge; Alliances; Mobility; Patents; Localization)
Article
The purpose of this Perspective Paper is to advance understanding of absorptive capacity, its underlying dimensions, its multi-level antecedents, its impact on firm performance and the contextual factors that affect absorptive capacity. Nineteen years after the Cohen and Levinthal 1990 paper, the field is characterized by a wide array of theoretical perspectives and a wealth of empirical evidence. In this paper, we first review these underlying theories and empirical studies of absorptive capacity. Given the size and diversity of the absorptive capacity literature, we subsequently map the existing terrain of research through a bibliometric analysis. The resulting bibliometric cartography shows the major discrepancies in the organization field, namely that (1) most attention so far has been focused on the tangible outcomes of absorptive capacity; (2) organizational design and individual level antecedents have been relatively neglected in the absorptive capacity literature; and (3) the emergence of absorptive ccapacity from the actions and interactions of individual, organizational and inter-organizational antecedents remains unclear. Building on the bibliometric analysis, we develop an integrative model that identifies the multi-level antecedents, process dimensions, and outcomes of absorptive capacity as well as the contextual factors that affect absorptive capacity. We argue that realizing the potential of the absorptive capacity concept requires more research that shows how “micro antecedents” and “macroantecedents” influence future outcomes such as competitive advantage, innovation, and firm performance. In particular, we identify conceptual gaps that may guide future research to fully exploit the absorptive capacity concept in the organization field and to explore future fruitful extensions of the concept.
Article
In this paper we propose a variance estimator for the OLS estimator as well as for nonlinear estimators such as logit, probit and GMM. This variance estimator en- ables cluster-robust inference when there is two-way or multi-way clustering that is non-nested. The variance estimator extends the standard cluster-robust variance es- timator or sandwich estimator for one-way clustering (e.g. Liang and Zeger (1986), Arellano (1987)) and relies on similar relatively weak distributional assumptions. Our method is easily implemented in statistical packages, such as Stata and SAS, that already o�er cluster-robust standard errors when there is one-way clustering. The method is demonstrated by a Monte Carlo analysis for a two-way random ef- fects model; a Monte Carlo analysis of a placebo law that extends the state-year e�ects example of Bertrand et al. (2004) to two dimensions; and by application to studies in the empirical literature where two-way clustering is present.
Article
This paper contributes with empirical findings to European co-inventorship location and geographical coincidence of co-patenting networks. Based on EPO co-patenting information for the reference period 2000-2004, we analyze the spatial con figuration of 44 technology-specific co-inventorship networks. European co-inventorship (co-patenting) activity is spatially linked to 1259 European NUTS3 units (EU25+CH+NO) and their NUTS1 regions by inventor location. We extract 7.135.117 EPO co-patenting linkages from our own relational database that makes use of the OECD RegPAT (2009) files. The matching between International Patent Classification (IPC) subclasses and 44 technology fields is based on the ISI-SPRU-OST-concordance. We con firm the hypothesis that the 44 co-inventorship networks differ in their overall size (nodes, linkages, self-loops) and that they are dominated by similar groupings of regions. The paper offers statistical evidence for the presence of highly localized European co-inventorship networks for all 44 technology fields, as the majority of linkages between NUTS3 units (counties and districts) are within the same NUTS1 regions. Accordingly, our findings helps to understand general presence of positive spatial autocorrelation in regional patent data. Our analysis explicitly accounts for different network centrality measures (betweenness, degree, eigenvector). Spearman rank correlation coefficients for all 44 technology fields confirm that most co-patenting networks co-locate in those regions that are central in several technology-specific co-patenting networks. These findings support the hypothesis that leading European regions are indeed multi- filed network nodes and that most research collaboration is taking place in dense co-patenting networks. --