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Abandoning innovation activities and performance: The moderating role of openness

Christos Tsinopoulos, Ji Yan and Carlos M.P. Sousa

Research Policy, 2019, vol. 48, issue 6, 1399-1411

Abstract: Firms are encouraged to continually initiate innovation activities as part of their new product development processes and to be open to the use of external knowledge sources. Yet, many are abandoned. Openness to external knowledge sources and the experience of abandoning innovation activities are, therefore, becoming a part of an organization’s reality and innovation strategy. In this paper, we aim to explore how the experience of having abandoned an innovation activity can affect innovation performance and the role two key dimensions of openness, external search breadth and formal innovation collaboration breadth, play. Using data from the UK Innovation Survey, we find that the experience of having abandoned an innovation activity leads to improved innovation performance and that this is negatively moderated by the two dimensions of openness. When external search breadth is high, i.e. when an organization engages with a higher number of different types of knowledge sources, the link between abandoning innovation activities and innovation performance weakens. Similarly, when formal innovation collaboration breadth is high, i.e. the breadth of a firm’s formal collaboration relationships is high, the link between abandoning innovation activities and innovation performance also weakens. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.

Keywords: Abandoning innovation activities; Openness; Technology management; Innovation performance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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