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How collaborative innovation networks affect new product performance: Product innovation capability, process innovation capability, and absorptive capacity

Najafi-Tavani, S and Najafi-Tavani, Z and Naudé, P and Oghazi, P and Zeynaloo, E (2018) How collaborative innovation networks affect new product performance: Product innovation capability, process innovation capability, and absorptive capacity. Industrial Marketing Management, 73. pp. 193-205. ISSN 0019-8501

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Abstract

© 2018 Elsevier Inc. The current literature has investigated the direct relationship between collaborative innovation networks and new product performance, but the results are inconsistent. This research aims to explore the role of product and process innovation capabilities as two distinct mechanisms through which collaborative innovation networks improve new product performance. The study also examines the contingent effects of absorptive capacity on the relationship between collaborative innovation networks and the two innovation capability dimensions (i.e. product and process innovation). Survey data from 258 respondents from the Iranian high and medium technology manufacturing industries indicates the need for caution when developing collaborative innovation networks. We found that the effects of collaborative innovation networks on either product or process innovation capability are significant only in the presence of absorptive capacity. This finding suggests that the level of collaboration with different partners can enhance firms' innovation capabilities only if the focal firm's managers have developed the capacity to scan and acquire external knowledge. Our analyses further indicate that in the presence of absorptive capacity, only collaboration with research organizations and competitors have a positive effect on product innovation capability. In the case of process innovation capability, collaboration with research organizations and suppliers are the most important factors.

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