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Inter-organizational knowledge acquisition and firms' radical innovation: A moderated mediation analysis

Xuemei Xie, Lijun Wang and Saixing Zeng

Journal of Business Research, 2018, vol. 90, issue C, 295-306

Abstract: Inter-organizational knowledge acquisition has become an increasingly important strategy for firms to improve their levels of innovation. Building upon the knowledge-based view (KBV) and the organizational learning perspective, and using data from 376 high-tech Chinese firms, we examine the underlying mediating mechanisms and contextual conditions in the relationship between inter-organizational knowledge acquisition and firms' radical innovation. Our results demonstrate that inter-organizational knowledge acquisition has a significant positive impact on firms' radical innovation. We also find that realized absorptive capacity mediates the relationship between inter-organizational knowledge acquisition and firms' radical innovation. Moreover, we discover that knowledge ambiguity negatively moderates both the direct and indirect effects of inter-organizational knowledge acquisition on firms' radical innovation through realized absorptive capacity. Our findings contribute to open innovation research by discussing the mediating mechanisms of how inter-organizational knowledge acquisition can be converted to firm innovation via realized absorptive capacity. Our results also provide fine-grained insight into the contingent role of knowledge ambiguity, and how its interaction with inter-organizational knowledge acquisition and realized absorptive capacity can have profound effects on firms' innovativeness.

Keywords: Inter-organizational knowledge acquisition; Realized absorptive capacity; Knowledge ambiguity; Radical innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.04.038

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