اکتشاف و بهره برداری از فرآیندهای نوآوری: نقش سستی سازمانی در تحقیق و توسعه شرکت های ویژه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20052||2006||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6980 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of High Technology Management Research, Volume 17, Issue 1, 2006, Pages 97–108
This study considers how organizational slack (available and recoverable) affects the process of innovation by facilitating or hindering the process of exploration and exploitation in the case of technology intensive firms. It is argued that the R & D intensity of the firm moderates the effect of organizational slack on innovation quantity, innovation quality as well as the process of exploration and exploitation. These hypotheses are tested using a sample of 208 technology intensive firms in a variety of manufacturing industries during 1989–1995. The hypotheses are supported for the measure of available slack but not recoverable slack. These findings suggest that different types of slack may impact firm behavior in different ways.
Slack can be thought of as resources available to an organization that are in excess of the minimum necessary to produce a given level of organizational output. The concepts of organizational slack and innovation are central elements in the strategic management literature. Innovation has received a great deal of attention (Hitt et al., 1996, Hitt et al., 1997 and Stuart, 2000) due to its importance in creating a competitive advantage through organizational adaptation and product development (Hitt et al., 1996 and Sorensen and Stuart, 2000). The concept of organizational slack has also received attention (Cheng and Kessner, 1997, Greenley and Oktemgil, 1998 and Palmer and Wiseman, 1999) because of its ability to buffer firms from shortages of funds and because of its potential to foster innovation (Bourgeois, 1981 and Cyert and March, 1963). It has also been argued however that organizational slack is wasteful, inefficient, and accumulates due to the self-serving interests of managers (Jensen and Meckling, 1976, Nohria and Gulati, 1996 and Simon, 1957). The opposing notions on the role of slack have led researchers to conclude that when it comes to innovation, slack can be both a blessing and a curse. More specifically, Nohria and Gulati (1996) showed that an inverted U-shaped relationship exists between slack and innovation. Moderate levels of slack were found to positively impact firm innovation, but at some point too much slack had a negative effect. The high-technology sector plays a pivotal role in today's “knowledge economy” and according to The Office of Science and Technology, more than half of economic growth during 1945–2002 is attributed to innovations within the high-technology sector (Leary, 2002). While most management scholars would agree that certain levels of organizational slack facilitate the innovation process, little is known about how much or what type of slack is most beneficial for technology intensive2 firms or how other variables interact with slack in the innovation process. In this paper, we extend the literature on slack and innovation in four ways. First, we extend Nohria and Gulati's (1996) work by looking at the effect of organizational slack on innovation quantity and innovation resonance. In technology intensive firms where innovation is critical, considering characteristics of their patent portfolio would reveal a more refined picture of their innovation capability than looking at improvements in policy or structure. As such, while Nohria and Gulati (1996) defined innovation very broadly to include accomplishments in policy, organizational structure, method, process, product or market, we define innovation as inventions that have been patented ( Ahuja & Lampert, 2001) and consider patent quantity as well as patent impact. Secondly, we examine how organizational slack affects the process of innovation by facilitating or hindering the process of exploration ( Cyert & March, 1963). While many have examined the effects of slack on firm performance (e.g. Bromiley, 1991) no study that we know of has looked at the effect of organizational slack on the exploration and exploitation process of innovation. Thirdly, we examine how different types of slack (available and recoverable) have differential effects on innovation depending on the technological intensity of the firm. Finally, while Nohria and Gulati's (1996) study design was a cross-sectional one, we investigate the relationship between organizational slack and innovation using a longitudinal approach. Central to our argument is the idea that the innovation process can involve both exploration and exploitation (March, 1991). Exploration is “experimentation with new alternatives whose returns are uncertain, distant, and often negative while exploitation is the refinement and extension of existing competencies, technologies, and paradigms exhibiting returns that are positive, proximate, and predictable” (March, 1991). Scientific and technological knowledge play different roles in support of these two innovation processes. Scientific knowledge can provide a type of road map for exploration and may increase the effectiveness of innovation search by helping researchers avoid wasted effort (Fleming & Sorenson, 2004). Technological knowledge on the other hand supports an incremental search process, a process of exploitation, where research activities are tightly linked to prior research activities (Fleming & Sorenson, 2004). Simply put, while technological knowledge facilitates incremental movement on the innovation landscape, scientific knowledge provides guidance which enriches innovation (Fleming & Sorenson, 2004). While prior research examined the effect of organizational slack on innovation output, no studies to date have examined the impact of organizational slack on the process of innovation. Building on the differences between scientific and technological knowledge we argue that organizational slack affects the use of scientific and technological knowledge in innovation3 and consequently the extent to which firms invest in exploration and exploitation processes. Further, we suggest that by influencing these two innovation processes organizational slack can also influence the extent to which firms develop innovations that are novel and influential (Fleming & Sorenson, 2004). Finally, we suggest that the R & D intensity of the firm moderates the effect of slack on innovation. We expect that the greater the R & D intensity of the firm, the greater the influence of slack on innovation quantity and quality. In the following section we first define the concept of organizational slack and we then provide a review of the literature involving slack, science and innovation. The development of the hypotheses of interest will follow.