چگونه سرمایه اجتماعی و دانش ، نوآوری را تحت تاثیر قرار می دهد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4265||2011||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5880 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 64, Issue 12, December 2011, Pages 1369–1376
This research analyzes the effects of interorganizational links on radical innovation using a comprehensive framework that integrates three research streams: social capital, the knowledge-based view and innovation. Incorporating data from 143 companies of innovative manufacturing and service industries, our results show that while knowledge complexity per se exerts a clear influence on radical innovation, the effect of knowledge tacitness appears only in combination with social capital. Similarly, the mere existence of strong cooperation agreements (relational social capital) does not guarantee more radical innovations, only when combining high levels of social capital with tacit knowledge does this antecedent produce more radical innovation.
Fundamental changes in regulation, global competition, and technology make it increasingly difficult for firms to compete successfully. Across different industries, firms are increasingly reliant on external collaboration in securing competitive advantage and enhancing their innovative capabilities (Goes and Park, 1997 and Powell et al., 1996). In fact, the conventional wisdom is that innovation processes are interactive processes (Edquist, 1997). The word “interactive” here means “social” in the sense that scientists, technologists, marketing personnel, designers and end-users are likely to be involved in a specific innovation project, working from different organizational bases. Communication across firm boundaries is a profoundly social and interactive process that provides firms with opportunities for shared learning, the transfer of technical knowledge, legitimacy and resource exchange (Nohria and Eccles, 1992 and Norman, 2004). The social capital framework provides an interesting perspective from which to explain the effect of interorganizational relationships on innovation (Subramaniam and Youndt, 2005) in terms of magnitude of change, degree of novelty, or innovativeness (Gatignon et al., 2002). Social capital is the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through and derived from the networks of relationships by an individual or social unit (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). Research on social capital highlights two main dimensions of the interorganizational relationships: the structural dimension and the relational dimension (Granoveter, 1992 and Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). The first one refers to the overall pattern of connections between actors, that is, who you reach and how you reach them (density, connectivity and hierarchy are measures of the structural dimension). The second one describes the kind of personal relationships people develops with each other through a history of interactions (respect, trust and friendship are usual aspects included in this dimension). Social capital approach suggests that factors relevant to the generation of innovation include not only the number of partners and the structure of the network but also the level of commitment, cohesiveness and trust embedded in the interorganizational relationships (Adler and Kwon, 2002, Mu et al., 2008 and Tidd, 1995). Even more, the relational dimension could better explain innovation performance (Moran, 2005), given that innovation mostly depends on the quality of relationships established between the people involved (relational dimension), rather than on the density, connectivity and hierarchy of such relationships (structural dimension). Our research focuses on this relational side of social capital. However, empirical support for the effects of interorganizational links on innovation is scarce (Faems et al., 2005), and other relevant topics should be incorporated into the analysis of such a relationship. According to Hansen, 1999 and Levin and Cross, 2004, among others, there is a need to include several knowledge types in order to achieve a better understanding of the effect of interorganizational relationships on innovation. Indeed, knowledge transference among companies provides opportunities for mutual learning and interorganizational cooperation, which stimulate the creation of new knowledge and, at the same time, contribute to the organizational ability to innovate (Nielsen, 2005 and Tsai, 2001). In addition, the relational side of social capital is more important for innovation when knowledge is tacit and complex, and thus is sticky and difficult to spread (Szulanski, 1996). Tacit knowledge has a personal quality that makes its formalization and communication difficult (Nonaka, 1994). Complex knowledge has a high number of parameters needed to be defined (Pringle, 1951). The present paper discusses the way in which the effect of the type of knowledge (in terms of tacitness and complexity) on radical innovations will depend on the level of social capital. The following question is important. How can organizations combine their social capital and internal knowledge to increase radical innovation? To address this question, this paper includes three objectives. The paper analyzes the effect of external social capital on radical innovation, analyzes the influence of knowledge tacitness and complexity on radical innovation, and explores the moderating role of social capital in the relationship between knowledge (tacitness and complexity) and radical innovation. This paper makes several contributions to research. First, at least three separate bodies of literature – on social capital, innovation, and the knowledge-based view – have addressed aspects of these questions. However, researchers have rarely considered the connections between these bodies of literature, a point that is the principal focus of this paper. In this vein, the paper proposes and tests a theoretical model that links these streams. That is, we analyze both the independent and joint effect of social capital and knowledge-based view on radical innovations. Second, this research examines and explains the influence of the relational dimension of external social capital on radical innovation. This is important because, traditionally, the literature has analyzed the structural side of social capital. However, the relational side of social capital may exert a stronger effect on innovation (Moran, 2005). Third, whereas previous research analyzes knowledge tacitness as a broad construct that includes tacitness and complexity (e.g., Subramaniam and Venkatraman, 2001), our research conducts an individualized study of each of these types of knowledge with the aim of a better understanding of their different effects on radical innovation. Four, this article focuses on radical innovation rather than innovation in general. This is important because radical innovations offer greater product advantage and opportunities for differentiation (Calantone et al., 2006, Gatignon and Xuereb, 1997 and Kleinschmidt and Cooper, 1991), and has a positive effect on firm performance (Nijssen et al., 2006, Salomo et al., 2008 and Zhou et al., 2005). The paper proceeds as follows. The first section presents the theoretical background that led to the establishment of the hypotheses. The second section describes the empirical testing of such relationships. Last, the discussion includes findings and presents further conclusions, contributions, limitations and ideas for future research directions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research analyzes the effects of interorganizational links on innovation using a comprehensive framework that integrates three research streams: social capital, the knowledge based-view and innovation. This holistic view allows a better understanding of how to combine external social capital and knowledge tacitness and complexity in order to improve radical innovation. In a departure from previous literature, this paper focuses on the relational aspect of social capital, which has received less comprehensive exploration in the research on interorganizational relationships and innovation to date. This study also extends the knowledge-based research analyzing the influence of different types of knowledge on radical innovation. This study provides interesting results. The first conclusion is that social capital per se exerts a weak influence on radical innovation, that is, the trust and friendship involved in interorganizational relationships just slightly increases the degree of novelty of new products. This weak result may have a relation with the obstacles to innovation created by the dark side of interorganizational relationships. The dark side concept is that tight interorganizational relationships may lock firms into a narrow network and make them dependent on a small number of external sources of creativity (Capaldo, 2007). Given that the mere existence of strong cooperation agreements does not guarantee the achievement of more radical innovations, the knowledge framework could provide new insights. The results show that the relevance of tacitness and complexity of knowledge for radical innovations is different. Whereas knowledge complexity seems to be a strong determinant of the radical innovation, knowledge tacitness exerts no influence. This finding is relevant to knowledge research, as some researchers consider both dimensions as parts of a unidimensional construct (Polanyi, 1966 and Subramaniam and Venkatraman, 2001). The present analysis implies that complexity better explains the novelty of new products than does tacitness. This result is consistent with certain research that applies the term complex innovation to those innovations that incorporate a high degree of novelty (Gopalakrishnan and Bierly, 2001). The lack of effect of knowledge tacitness on radical innovations should not lead to an underestimation of its role in innovation, given that we find a positive joint effect of social capital and the tacitness of knowledge on radical innovations. This finding is important for both the social capital and the knowledge research areas. On the one hand, tacit knowledge counteracts the aforementioned dark side of interorganizational relationships, making strong relationships among firms a relevant facilitator of radical innovations. On the other hand, giving the difficulty of sharing tacit knowledge among firms engaged in collaborative innovation, a high degree of friendship, commitment and trust (the relational side of social capital) is needed. Even more importantly, this external social capital is what seems to make tacit knowledge more valuable in terms of radical innovations. A deeper analysis of the moderating effect of social capital on the knowledge tacitness-radical innovations relationships provides an interesting discussion. As it was expected, for a high level of social capital, radical innovation increases as knowledge tacitness increases. However, for a low level of social capital, radical innovation decreases as knowledge tacitness increases. That is, if knowledge is codified, social capital may represent a waste of resources and an obstacle to radical innovations. Codified knowledge is path-dependent, based on past experience, and thus is less novel (Polanyi, 1966). The combination of this non-original knowledge with constant and long-lasting interorganizational relationships yields less innovative results. This result could be consistent with previous research that demonstrates that codified knowledge favors other dimensions of innovation, such as the number of new products with a very low degree of newness (Gopalakrishnan and Bierly, 2001). Finally, despite the important unilateral influence of knowledge complexity on radical innovation, the interaction of knowledge complexity with social capital does not improve the novelty of new products. Thus, we could conclude that while sharing tacit knowledge requires strong relationships, this type of interorganizational linkage does not leverage the effect of complex knowledge on such radical innovation. This paper contributes to social capital, knowledge, and innovation literature by specifying when social capital and certain knowledge types are indeed useful for radical innovation. Tacit knowledge improves radical innovation only when it is embedded in strong social networks. The effect of knowledge complexity on radical innovation seems to be so strong that external relationships do not enhance this effect. All these findings may be significant for practitioners in order to decide when to get involved in high-commitment networks. Relational social capital becomes relevant to develop radical innovations when such innovations involve tacit knowledge. Building relational social capital in other circumstances may represent an unnecessary investment of social resources and can erode the innovative capabilities. Thus, if knowledge is codified (minimally tacit), weak ties should be sufficient. Like all studies, this one has certain limitations that further research should overcome. First, because the intention is to analyze innovation, this study focuses on Spanish industries traditionally involved in innovative activity and excludes other types of industries. Although this approach is appropriate, it would be unwise to generalize the findings too broadly to other industries and cultural contexts, taken into account also that the sample size is not very high (but there is not a nonresponse bias problem). A second limitation relates to the use of cross-sectional data, since all the variables are measured at the same moment in time. This may well lead to problems by inferring cause–effect relationships, as causality implies temporality. Another limitation comes from the use of self rated measures. Objective measures, when they are available, would be more desirable. Finally, a potential problem of model misspecification may exist because we do not consider other dimensions of social capital (structural or internal), knowledge (systemic and amount) and innovativeness (market and newness to customers). These conclusions and limitations suggest proposals for future research direction. First, exploring other dimensions of the variables in the study (such as the structural dimension and internal side of social capital), would be interesting. Second, it deserves attention to look for additional factors that could improve the effect of complex knowledge on radicalness. Third, a longitudinal study could offer some new insight into the effects of the evolution of interorganizational relationships on innovation.