Is R&D Enough to Take Advantage from External Knowledge? Focusing on Coordination Mechanisms

Ana García-Granero, Jaider Vega-Jurado, Joaquin Alegre-Vidal

Abstract


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of research and development (R&D) and coordination mechanisms (such as decentralization in decision-making and formalization of organizational processes) in the transformation of external knowledge into innovation results. We use survey data for performing standard ordinary least squares regressions in a representative sample of firms from the Spanish Ceramic Tile Industry. The results suggest that R&D is an important moderator influencing the relationship between acquiring external knowledge and innovation outcomes. Second, formalization tends to have a detrimental effect in the transformation of external knowledge into innovation outputs. Third, there are differences if it is discriminated between exploratory and exploitative innovations. This study contributes to external knowledge sourcing research that insofar has only taken account of R&D, neglecting the role of coordination mechanisms, in the exploitation of this knowledge. Moreover, this study is relevant to organization theory. To date, this literature has focused on the direct effect of coordination mechanisms on innovation. We show that the latter can be contingent on external knowledge processes. Lastly, we add to both literature streams by showing the different nature of the results when considering exploratory or exploitative innovations.

Keywords


External knowledge sourcing, Formalization, Decentralization, R&D, Exploratory innovation, Exploitative innovation

Full Text:

PDF [en]

References


Ahuja, G. (2000), “The duality of collaboration: inducements and opportunities in the formation of inter-firm linkages”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 21, pp. 317–343. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1097-0266(200003)21:3<317::aid-smj90>3.3.co;2-2

Alegre, J. and Chiva, R. (2008), “Assessing the impact of organizational learning capability on product innovation performance: an empirical test”, Technovation, Vol. 28, pp. 315-326. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2007.09.003

Alegre-Vidal, J., Lapiedra-Alcamı́, R. and Chiva-Gómez, R. (2004), “Linking operations strategy and product innovation: an empirical study of Spanish ceramic tile producers”, Research Policy, 33 No. 5, pp. 829-839. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2004.01.003

Artés, J. (2009). “Long-run versus short-run decisions: R&D and market structure in Spanish firms”, Research Policy, Vol. 38, No.1, pp. 120-132. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2008.10.014

Ayuso, S., Rodríguez, M.Á., García-Castro, R. and Ariño, M.Á. (2011), “Does stakeholder engagement promote sustainable innovation orientation?”, Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 111 No. 9, pp.1399-1417. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02635571111182764

Baer, M. (2012). “Putting creativity to work: The implementation of creative ideas in organizations”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 55 No.5, pp.1102-1119. http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amj.2009.0470

Baptista, R. and Swann, P. (1998), “Do firms in clusters innovate more?”, Research policy, Vol. 27, pp. 525–540. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0048-7333(98)00065-1

Barge-Gil, A. and López. A. (2012), “R&D Determinants: accounting for the differences between research and development”, Munich Personal RePEC Archive, Munich, Germany.

Belderbos, R., Carree, M. and Lokshin, B. (2004), “Cooperative R&D and firm performance”, Research Policy, Vol. 33, pp. 1477–1492. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2004.07.003

Benner, M. J. and Tushman, M. (2002), “Process management and technological innovation: A longitudinal study of the photography and paint industries”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 47 No.4, pp. 676-707. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3094913

Benner, M. and Tushman, M. (2003), “Exploitation, exploration and process management: the productivity dilemma revisited”, The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 28, pp. 238-256. http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amr.2003.9416096

Bidault, F. and Cummings, T. (1994), “Innovating through alliances: expectations and limitations”, R&D Management, Vol. 24, pp. 33–45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.1994.tb00845.x

Breschi, S. and Malerba, F. (1997), “Sectoral innovation systems: technological regimes, Schumpeterian dynamic and spatial boundaries”, Systems of innovation: technologies, institution and organizations, Pinter, London/Washington, pp. 130-156.

Cassiman, B. and Veugelers, R. (2006), “In search of complementarity in innovation strategy: internal R&D and external knowledge acquisition”, Management Science, Vol. 52, pp. 68–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1050.0470

Chang, Y. and Hughes, M. (2012), “Drivers of innovation ambidexterity in small- to medium-sized firms”, European Management Journal, Vol. 30, pp. 1-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2011.08.003

Chesbrough, H.W. (2003), Open innovation: the new imperative for creating and profiting from technology, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

Cohen, W. M. and Levinthal, D. A. (1989). “Innovation and learning: the two faces of R&D”, The Economic Journal, pp. 569-596. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2233763

Cohen, W.M. and Levinthal, D.A. (1990), “Absorptive capacity: a new perspective on learning and innovation”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 35, pp. 128-152. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2393553

Colombo, M.G., Rabbiosi, L. and Reichstein, T. (2011), “Organizing for external knowledge sourcing”, European Management Review, Vol. 8, pp. 111–116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-4762.2011.01018.x

Damanpour, F. (1991), “Organizational innovation: a meta-analysis of effects of determinants and moderators”, The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 34, pp. 555–590. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/256406

Das, T.K. and Teng, B.S. (2000), “A resource-based theory of strategic alliances”, Journal of Management, Vol.26, pp. 31 –61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/014920630002600105

Foss, N., Laursen, K. and Pedersen, T. (2011), “Linking customer interaction and innovation: the mediating role of new organizational practices”, Organization Science, Vol. 22, pp. 980-999. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1100.0584

Galbraith, J.R. (1974), “Organization design: an information processing view”, Interfaces, Vol. 4, pp. 28-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/inte.4.3.28

Hannan, M.T. and Freeman, J. (1984), “Structural inertia and organizational change”, American Sociological Review, Vol. 49, pp. 149-164. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2095567

Hult, G.T., Hurley, R.F. and Knight, G.A. (2004), “Innovativeness: its antecedents and impact on business performance”, Industrial marketing management, Vol. 33, pp. 429–438. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2003.08.015

Jansen, J. J., Van Den Bosch, F. A. and Volberda, H. W. (2005), “Managing potential and realized absorptive capacity: how do organizational antecedents matter?”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 48 No.6, pp. 999-1015. http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amj.2005.19573106

Jansen, J.J., Van den Bosch, F.A. and Volberda, H.W. (2006), “Exploratory innovation, exploitative innovation, and performance: effects of organizational antecedents and environmental moderators”, Management Science, Vol. 52, pp. 1661-1674. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0576

Keupp, M.M. and Gassmann, O. (2009), “Determinants and archetype users of open innovation”, R&D Management, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 331-341. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00563.x

Khandwalla, P.N. (1977), The design of organizations, Harcourt Brace Jovanovic, US.

Klevorick, A.K., Levin, R.C., Nelson, R.R. and Winter, S.G. (1995), “On the sources and significance of inter-industry differences in technological opportunities”, Research Policy, Vol. 24, pp. 185-205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0048-7333(93)00762-I

Lam, W. and Chua, A. Y. (2009), “Knowledge outsourcing: an alternative strategy for knowledge management”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 13 No.3, pp. 28-43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13673270910962851

Lane, P.J., Koka, B.R. and Pathak, S. (2006), “The reification of absorptive capacity: a critical review and rejuvenation of the construct”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 31, pp. 833–863. http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2006.22527456

Laursen, K. and Salter, A. (2006), “Open for innovation: the role of openness in explaining innovation performance among U.K. manufacturing firms”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 27, pp. 131-150. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.507

Lin, B.W. and Wu, C.H. (2010), “How does knowledge depth moderate the performance of internal and external knowledge sourcing strategies?”, Technovation, Vol.30, pp. 582-589. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2010.07.001

Lopez, V. W. B. and Esteves, J. (2013), “Acquiring external knowledge to avoid wheel re-invention”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 17 No.1, pp. 87-105. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13673271311300787

Malerba, F. (2005), “Sectoral systems of innovation: a framework for linking innovation to the knowledge base, structure and dynamics of sectors”, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol. 14, pp.63–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0048-7333(01)00139-1

March, J.G. (1991), “Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning”, Organization Science, Vol. 2, pp. 71-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2.1.71

Martín-de Castro, G., López-Sáez, P. and Delgado-Verde, M. (2011), “Towards a knowledge-based view of firm innovation. Theory and empirical research”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 15 No.6, pp. 871-874. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13673271111179253

Menguc, B. and Auh, S. (2010), “Development and return on execution of product innovation capabilities: the role of organizational structure”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 39, pp. 820-831. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2009.08.004

Miotti, L. and Sachwald, F. (2003), “Co-operative R&D: why and with whom? An integrated framework of analysis”, Research Policy, Vol. 32, pp. 1481–1499. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0048-7333(02)00159-2

Morris, S. A., Greer, T. H., Hughes, C. and Clark, W. J. (2004), “Prediction of CASE adoption: a neural network approach”, Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 104, No.2, pp. 129-135. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02635570410522099

Muscio, A. (2007), “The impact of absorptive capacity on SMEs' collaboration”, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol. 16, pp. 653-668. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10438590600983994

Nelson, R.R. (1991), “Why do firms differ, and how does it matter?”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 61–74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.4250121006

Neter, J., Wasserman, W., Kutner, M.H. and Li, W. (1996), Applied linear statistical models, Irwin.

OECD-Eurostat. (2005), Guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data, OECD, Paris.

Pérez-López, S. and Alegre, J. (2012), “Information technology competency, knowledge processes and firm performance”, Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 112, No.4, pp. 644-662. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02635571211225521

Petruzzelli, A. M., Albino, V., and Carbonara, N. (2009), “External knowledge sources and proximity”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 13 No.5, pp. 301-318. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13673270910988123

Podsakoff, P.M. and Organ, D. (1986), “Self-reports in organizational research: problems and prospects”, Journal of Management, Vol. 12, pp. 531–544. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/014920638601200408

Rass, M., Dumbach, M., Danzinger, F., Bullinger, A.C. and Moeslein, K.M. (2013), “Open innovation and firm performance: the mediating role of social capital”, Creativity and innovation management, Vol. 22 (2), pp. 177-194. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/caim.12028

Rosenkopf, L. and Nerkar, A. (2001), “Beyond local search: boundary-spanning, exploration, and impact in the optical disk industry”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 22, pp. 287–306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.160

Schmidt, T. (2010), “Absorptive capacity—one size fits all? A firm-level analysis of absorptive capacity for different kinds of knowledge”, Managerial and Decision Economics, Vol. 31, pp. 1–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mde.1423

Sofka, W. and Grimpe, C. (2010), “Specialized search and innovation performance – evidence across Europe”, R&D Management, Vol. 40, pp. 310-323. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2010.00592.x

Song, M., Droge, C., Hanvanich, S. and Calantone, R. (2005), “Marketing and technology resource complementarity: an analysis of their interaction effect in two environmental contexts”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 26, pp. 259–276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.450

Sorensen, J.B. and Stuart, T.E. (2000), “Aging, obsolescence and organizational innovation”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 45, pp. 81–113. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2666980

Tellis, G. J., Prabhu, J. G. and Ghandy, R. K. (2009), “Radical innovation across nations: The preeminence of corporate culture”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 73, No.1, pp. 3-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.73.1.3

Tsai, K.H. (2009), “Collaborative networks and product innovation performance: toward a contingency perspective”, Research Policy, Vol.38, pp. 765–778. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2008.12.012

Tsai, K.H. and Wang, J.C. (2009), “External technology sourcing and innovation performance in LMT sectors: an analysis based on the Taiwanese technological innovation survey”, Research Policy, Vol. 38, pp. 518-526. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2008.10.007

Vega Jurado, J., Gutiérrez Gracia, A. and Fernández de Lucio, I. (2008a), “Analyzing the determinants of firm's absorptive capacity: beyond R&D”, R&D Management, Vol. 38, pp. 392 405. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2008.00525.x

Vega Jurado, J., Gutiérrez Gracia, A. and Fernández de Lucio, I. (2008b), “Cómo Innovan las empresas españolas? Una evidencia empírica”, Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, Vol. 3 (3), pp. 100–111. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/s0718-27242008000100010

Wilhelm, S., Gueldenberg, S, and Guttel, W. (2013), “Do you know your valuable customers?”, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol.17 No.5, pp. 661-676. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/jkm-12-2012-0385

Willem, A. and Buelens, M. (2009), “Knowledge sharing in inter-unit cooperative episodes: the impact of organizational structure dimensions”, International Journal of Information Management, Vol. 29, pp. 151–160. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2008.06.004

Zeng, S., Xie, X. and Tam, C. (2010), “Relationship between cooperation networks and innovation performance of SMEs”, Technovation, Vol. 30, pp. 181-194. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2009.08.003

Zhou, K.Z. and Li, C.B. (2012), “How knowledge affects radical innovation: knowledge base, market knowledge acquisition, and internal knowledge sharing”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 33, pp. 1090-1102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.1959

Zhou, K.Z. and Wu, F. (2010), “Technological capability, strategic flexibility, and product innovation”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 31, pp. 547–561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.830




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242014000200009



Copyright (c)



2017 © Universidad Alberto Hurtado - Facultad de Economía y Negocios. 
Erasmo Escala 1835 - Santiago, Chile.
Economic Analysis Review | Observatorio Económico | Gestión y Tendencias 

Journal Supported by Chimera Innova Group