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


  • Ana García-Granero INGENIO (CSIC-UPV)
  • Jaider Vega-Jurado Universidad del Norte - Business School Barranquilla-Colombia
  • Joaquin Alegre-Vidal Universitat de Valencia, Department of Business Management



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


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.


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Author Biography

Jaider Vega-Jurado, Universidad del Norte - Business School Barranquilla-Colombia

Researcher at the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Management (INGENIO), a joint Institute of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research and the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Jaider obtained a degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad del Atlántico (Colombia) in 2001, and a PhD in Engineering and Innovation Projects from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (2008). His areas of expertise are: business Innovation Strategies, absorptive capacity, University-Industry relationships, National and Regional Innovation Systems.


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How to Cite

García-Granero, A., Vega-Jurado, J., & Alegre-Vidal, J. (2014). Is R&D Enough to Take Advantage from External Knowledge? Focusing on Coordination Mechanisms. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 9(2), 118–130.



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