سرمایه اجتماعی، قابلیت جذب و نوآوری شرکت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4343||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7130 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Available online 10 January 2013
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between social capital and firm innovation as well as the moderating effects of absorptive capability. In general, network-level technological diversity is utilized to measure a firm's social capital and in this case, an empirical investigation of 748 high-tech firms in Taiwan indicates that such diversity in a firm's social network has an inverted U-shaped relationship with the firms' innovation performance. In addition, we find that by increasing absorptive capability, it will systematically increase the slope and amplitude of the positive effects of diversity as well as maximize the overall value of network-level technological diversity for firm innovation performance. These results also suggest that an overabundance of network-level technological diversity can have a negative impact on firm innovation while a moderate level of such diversity can lead to high levels of innovation performance.
Intangible assets are crucial for a firm's overall success, especially in the current knowledge-based economy. By 2002, 75% of a firm's market value is due to its intangible assets, which shows that effective management of such assets is the key to achieving superior performance . Discussions in regard to social capital, one such intangible asset, have recently gained prominence. Social capital is generally defined as the resources embedded in a social network that can be mobilized by a firm in order to increase the success rate for specific actions . Previous studies have indicated that social networks are important channels for firms to access external knowledge. Through such networks, firms can obtain pertinent information and knowledge that helps them enhance their overall learning and innovation (e.g. ,  and ). Despite these positive aspects, there are several limitations in current research that restrict further understanding of how social capital can improve firm innovation. First, few research consider the differences in social networks while studying the value of social capital for innovation (e.g. ,  and ). In fact, the composition of a firm's social network influence the amount of resources and information a firm can obtain from its network . Second, the majority of current research assumes that the relationship between social capital and innovation performance is linear (e.g. ,  and ). However, social network theory indicates that a non-linear relationship between social capital and firm performance is possible. Third, some recent studies have found that the benefits of social capital are contingent upon firm characteristics and contextual factors, which suggests that scholars must consider these factors when studying the value of social capital , ,  and . Therefore, this study aims to address the above limitations by examining how the composition of a firm's social network impacts the firm's innovation performance as well as investigating the moderating effects of absorptive capability. For this study, we utilized interlocking directorates in order to establish the boundary for a firm's social network while using network-level technological diversity to measure social capital. This particular investigation occurred between 2006 and 2008, and the subjects consisted of 748 high-tech firms in Taiwan, all of whom believed that innovation was a vital component of maintaining a competitive position. According to the results, there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the technological diversity of a firm's social network and the firm's innovation performance. This shows that even though network-level technological diversity can help increase innovation, an overabundance of such diversity can adversely affect innovation performance. In addition, we found that absorptive capability increases the slope of the positive effects of network-level technological diversity as well as reduces the negative effects of such diversity. In other words, firms with greater absorptive capabilities benefit more from technologically diverse networks. In addition, this investigation contributes to the literature and practice in several ways. First, it proves that the diversity of a firm's social network can influence its innovation performance. This means that more attention should be made toward network composition while studying the benefits of social capital. In practice, if firms want to increase innovation through alliance networks, they need to examine the member composition of the particular network in which they are embedded. Second, in previous literature, absorptive capability is considered as an important factor that influences firm innovation  and . Since a limited number of studies have analyzed whether a firm's absorptive capability increases the overall value of its external network, this investigation provides preliminary evidence that shows how a firm's absorptive capability does in fact help the firm obtain and absorb external knowledge. In particular, the greater the diversity a network provides, the more absorptive capability is required. Based on this framework, a firm cannot simply rely upon external networks in order to obtain knowledge; it must also adequately invest in the development of its own technical capacity. Many studies suggest that social networks provide channels for firms to obtain knowledge, resources and technology as well as promote internal learning in order to help them innovate ,  and . However, there is hardly any consensus in the accompanying literature. In this case, this study also proposes that the relationship between social network and firm innovation is non-linear in an attempt to explain such inconsistencies and help firms realize that only with moderate investments in social capital can they obtain maximum value. Finally, most of the current research on the relationship between social capital and performance has been conducted based on the individual , the project , or the industry itself  and . It is only recently that studies have been conducted based on the organization or firm  and . Therefore, the overall analysis in this study is conducted based on the firm in order to show that specific composition of interfirm networks are factors in the construction of social capital. This paper proceeds as follows. Section 2 presents a literature review of previous social capital research, and derives two hypotheses for how network composition influences firm innovation. Section 3 provides descriptions in regard to the data and variables employed in the analysis while the empirical results are discussed in Section 4. Finally, Section 5 provides a discussion of the implications of this study and its overall limitations.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Since innovation has gradually moved from closed to open, external knowledge, particularly those embedded in a firm's social network, has become an important source for innovation performance. This research suggests that the composition of a firm's external network and its internal capabilities are critical for determining the level of innovation performance. A firm's external knowledge access is characterized by its network diversity. The result of this research indicates that a firm's innovation performance is significantly increased by the diversity in its external networks, which provides opportunities to obtain abundant technological knowledge, to access novel information, and to create innovative outcomes. However, the results also indicate that the relationship between network technological diversity and innovation performance is in the form of an inverted U-shape, which means that the benefits of excessive diversity may outweigh its costs and moderate network diversity can lead to significant innovation performance. Although a diverse network can help firms gain a wide array of informational benefits, absorbing and utilizing highly diverse knowledge may cause information overload and lead toward high costs of such knowledge transfer. The results of this research demonstrate the importance of gaining access to knowledge through social networks and, simultaneously contribute toward the literature on networks and innovations ,  and . In addition, a firm's internal absorptive capability determines the extent to which it can absorb, transform, and utilize new knowledge from other firms . Investing in such capability also allows a firm to effectively increase its learning capabilities, and assimilate and apply external knowledge for its own use . Besides, this research demonstrates that absorptive capability significantly moderates the relationship between network technological diversity and firm innovation. This result suggests that high absorptive capability is associated with increased absorption and utilization of knowledge diverse networks, increased amplitude of the effects of diversity on innovation, and increased value of diversity that maximizes innovation performance. In other words, there is a complimentary relationship between a firm's absorptive capability and its external networks, which also shows that improving innovation performance is one of the most important objectives for firms . Furthermore, previous research has focused on the direct effects of social networks on firm innovation without addressing whether the effects might be dependent upon the extent to which a firm can absorb knowledge ,  and . In this case, a firm may be able to access knowledge from its networks but it may not have sufficient capability to absorb such knowledge. Hence, the higher a firm's overall absorptive capability, the more it can access knowledge from external sources. This suggests that a firm must invest significantly in its absorptive capability, especially when they are embedded in a more diverse network. Finally, this research contributes to the growing body of research on networks in several ways. First, it indicates that network composition plays an important role in determining the value of social networks. Second, this research utilizes network analysis in order to indicate a method of exploring the relational profiles of firms. Although a few studies have examined attributes of networks and their influences on business performance, most of their analyses were based on the individual , the project , or the unit level . In this case, this research examined network composition based on the firm-level. Third, this research verifies that investing in absorptive capability while expanding network links is critical to the success of firms, especially when acquiring new knowledge that eventually leads to superior innovation. In this regard, a firm's network diversity reveals its relative strength when gaining access to novel knowledge, whereas a firm's absorptive capability reveals its ability to absorb and utilize such knowledge. The present study shows a nonlinear relationship between network diversity and firm innovation, and confirms the moderating role of absorptive capability in such a relationship. The results also suggest that both the influence of network composition and absorptive capability should be studied simultaneously in order to better understand how much a firm can benefit from its social network. This study has provided several important management insights regarding how social networks can become an important source for a firm's innovation performance. In addition, our research also implied that there is a non-linear relationship between social capital and innovation. Therefore, firms should find the optimal level of network diversity to reap the greatest benefits for innovation performance. However, this research also includes two overall limitations. First, since this research focused only on electronics manufacturers, perhaps future research will examine how social capital can improve innovation in other industries such as the service industry. Second, subject to data availability, we were unable to observe how knowledge is transferred among individual firms and therefore we cannot provide direct evidence of such transfer processes and mechanisms. In this case, perhaps future studies can focus on these individual processes.