The determinants of innovation performance: analyzing organizational capabilities

25/04/2012 to 27/04/2012
OLKC (Organizational learning knowledge and capabilities) 2012
Absorptive capacity theory has been central in understanding the importance of internal capabilities in taking advantage of external sources. This has driven multiple studies to consider firms internal capabilities when elaborating their empirical models. However, despite the number of studies carried out on this topic, the majority has focused on technological activities (mainly R&D) and has said little about the firm’s organizational capabilities. In this paper we highlight not only the relevance of technological capabilities but also the role of organizational capabilities in this process. The organizational dimension is analyzed by taking into account formal coordination mechanisms, that is to say, decentralization in decision-making and formalization in processes. The research draws on survey data from the Spanish Ceramic Tile Industry. The main results suggest that the effect of external knowledge acquisition on innovation is not only contingent on technological capabilities as advanced by previous literature, but also on certain organizational capabilities. In particular our study reveals formalization as an important attribute, which tends to exert a detrimental effect in transforming external knowledge into innovation results. Lastly, our results further suggest that the effectiveness of external knowledge exploitation can be contingent on the nature of the innovation (exploitative and exploratory).
Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, España
Ana García Granero, Jaider Vega-Jurado, Joaquín Alegre Vidal