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Do product imitation and innovation require different patterns of organizational innovation? Evidence from Chinese firms

Fang Wang and Kaihua Chen

Journal of Business Research, 2020, vol. 106, issue C, 60-74

Abstract: While organizational innovation is considered crucial for firms performance, its role as a type of intangible innovation in new product development remains under-explored in the literature. As such, this paper explores the impacts of organizational innovation on both product innovation and imitation for Chinese manufacturing firms based on original survey data. Latent class analysis is used to identify the classification of organizational innovation and their various characteristics. The results indicate a five-pattern of organizational innovation that range from low to high levels for the sample firms. Further, the multinomial treatment effects estimation suggests that middle- to high-level organizational innovation has a significant impact on product imitation intensity, demonstrating that knowledge management and standardization play important roles in facilitating product imitation. However, only a superior level of organizational innovation shows a significant effect on the intensity of product innovation, implying that the transition from product imitation to innovation requires a comprehensive improvement in organizational design.

Keywords: Organizational innovation; Product imitation; Product innovation; Chinese firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.08.046

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