Innovative behavior and venture performance of SMEs: the moderating effect of environmental dynamism

European Journal of Innovation Management, Volume 18, Issue 2, May 2015.
Purpose This study explores the relationship between innovative behavior and firm performance to determine empirically whether managers’ innovative behavior impacts directly or indirectly on firm performance through innovative output. A proposed conceptual model is tested with the moderating effects of environmental dynamism Design/methodology/approach An empirical study tests the conceptual model of a multi-industry sample of Tunisian SMEs. For this analysis we apply the Partial Least Squares (PLS) technique using the software package SmartPLS, version 2.0 Findings Empirical findings reveal that innovative behavior acts on innovation output thus having a positive and significant effect on business performance. Direct effect on business performance is found to be positive but weakly significant. These positive relationships tend to decrease when market conditions are highly dynamic. Practical implications Managers should be aware of the strategic potential of their innovative skills which can reinforce a firm’s innovativeness in order to improve business performance. Originality/value This article proposes a model showing how a manager’s innovative behavior affects innovation output thus enhancing firm performance. The proposed conceptual model gives a more specific vision with the introduction of environmental dynamism as a moderating factor.
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The differentiated impacts of organizational innovation practices on technological innovation persistence

European Journal of Innovation Management, Volume 18, Issue 1, Page 110-127, January 2015.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to test the major determinants of technological (product and process) innovation persistence and provides evidence of the significant role of organizational innovation. Design/methodology/approach – Data came from two waves of the Luxembourg Community Innovation Survey (CIS): CIS2006 for 2004-2006 and CIS2008 for 2006-2008. The longitudinal data set resulted in a final sample of 287 firms. A multinomial probit model estimates the likelihood that each firm belongs to one of three longitudinal innovation profiles: no, sporadic, or persistent innovators. Findings – The determinants have differentiated impacts on process and technological innovation persistence. Organizational innovation influences technological innovation persistence. In the analysis of detailed organizational practices, strong evidence emerged that knowledge management exerts a crucial effect on product innovation persistence; workplace organization instead is associated with process innovation persistence. Research limitations/implications – The relationships of innovation persistence, organizational innovation, and firms’ economic performance demand further exploration. The different persistence patterns of complex (process and product) and simple (process or product) innovators also are worth investigating. Practical implications – Organizational innovation matters for technological innovation persistence. However, the effects of non-technological innovation differ depending on whether the firm wants to innovate in processes or products. Managers must acknowledge these various effects and select appropriate strategies. Originality/value – Few works account for the impact of organizational innovation strategies on technological innovation. This study is the first, based on recent CIS data, to address the role of organizational innovation practices for technological innovation persistence, which appears necessary for the sustainable dynamics of firms, industries, and regions.
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User participation and stakeholder involvement in health care innovation – does it matter?

European Journal of Innovation Management, Volume 18, Issue 1, Page 2-18, January 2015.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss how and to what extent users can become involved in the process of selecting and implementing telecare and telehealth technologies in local health care services. Design/methodology/approach – The discussion is based on data from a project in one local authority in Norway. About 100 persons have participated in focus group interviews where issues regarding new telecare and telehealth technologies for the elderly were discussed. The focus groups involved different groups of product users and stakeholder groups, i.e. “older senior users” (over 65 years), “younger senior users” (55-65 years), relatives, health care professionals and general practitioners (GPs). Findings – Different user groups have different stakes in the technology. It is difficult to involve “older senior users” in the selection process due to their lack of information about potential solutions, while “younger senior users” are more informed and positive towards the introduction of telecare and telehealth technologies. The results also indicate that professionals are ambiguous towards new technologies; on the one hand they expect services to be better, but on the other they are concerned about ethical and working life issues that have not been fully explored as yet. Originality/value – This paper provides an understanding of how different groups of product users and stakeholder groups relate to and can be involved in an expanded implementation process of telecare and telehealth technology which allow older people to remain in their homes for longer.
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The differentiated impacts of organizational innovation practices on technological innovation persistence

European Journal of Innovation Management, Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2015.

Purpose This article tests the major determinants of technological (product and process) innovation persistence and provides evidence of the significant role of organizational innovation. Design/methodology/approach Data came from two waves of the Luxembourg Community Innovation Survey (CIS): CIS2006 for 2004–2006 and CIS2008 for 2006–2008. The longitudinal data set resulted in a final sample of 287 firms. A multinomial probit model estimates the likelihood that each firm belongs to one of three longitudinal innovation profiles: no, sporadic, or persistent innovators. Findings The determinants have differentiated impacts on process and technological innovation persistence. Organizational innovation influences technological innovation persistence. In the analysis of detailed organizational practices, strong evidence emerged that knowledge management exerts a crucial effect on product innovation persistence; workplace organization instead is associated with process innovation persistence. Research limitations/implications The relationships of innovation persistence, organizational innovation, and firms’ economic performance demand further exploration. The different persistence patterns of complex (process and product) and simple (process or product) innovators also are worth investigating. Practical implications Organizational innovation matters for technological innovation persistence. However, the effects of non-technological innovation differ depending on whether the firm wants to innovate in processes or products. Managers must acknowledge these various effects and select appropriate strategies. Originality/value Few works account for the impact of organizational innovation strategies on technological innovation. This study is the first, based on recent CIS data, to address the role of organizational innovation practices for technological innovation persistence, which appears necessary for the sustainable dynamics of firms, industries, and regions.
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Balancing diversity in innovation networks: trading zones in university-industry R&D collaboration

European Journal of Innovation Management, Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2015.

Purpose Although the potential of innovation networks that involve both university and industry actors is great variances in cultures, goals and knowledge poses significant challenges. To better understand management of such innovation networks, we investigate different strategies for balancing diversity. Design/methodology/approach In this multiple case study, we draw on network and trading zone theory to examine the strategies of four research centers that govern university-industry innovation networks. Findings We (1) provide empirically grounded descriptions of strategies for balancing diversity in innovation processes, (2) extend previous theorizations by suggesting two types of trading zones (transformative and performative), and, (3) identify four strategy configuration dimensions (means of knowledge trade, tie configuration, knowledge mobility mechanisms and types of trust). Research limitations/implications Further research is needed on transferability of results when e.g. cultural collaboration and communication patterns change, and, performance implications of different configurations. Our research provides conceptual tools for future research on the impact of different diversity strategies. Practical implications Our findings point to the importance of identifying desired types of innovation outcomes and designing the appropriate level of diversity. To implement the selected strategy, managers need to configure communication channels and strength of relationships, establish associated capacity for knowledge transfer and build appropriate levels of trust. Originality/value While extant research has provided a solid understanding of benefits from diversity in boundary spanning innovation processes, this paper outlines strategies for managing associated challenges.
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Innovation education programs: toward a conceptual framework

Abstract

Purpose – Innovation education has been identified as a key contributor to enhancing the innovative behavior of individuals, organizations and economies; yet very little literature exists on the development and assessment of innovation education programs (IEPs). This is particularly so in the higher education and vocational education domains. The purpose of this paper is to bridge the gap in the literature, by proposing a conceptual framework of a multi-dimensional IEP. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a transparent and reproducible procedure and critical appraisal of the literature; coupled with emergent inquiry and case study implementation of a leading international IEP. Findings – The study provides a framework by which innovation education facilitators may develop and evaluate their IEPs. The proposed framework provides a thematic appreciation of the multi-dimensional relationships between components. Research limitations/implications – Limited within the context of this case study, geographical context and scant literature on IEPs and reproducible procedure. Originality/value – The study provides a conceptual innovation education framework, based upon a successful international innovation management program.
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Enabling collaborative innovation – knowledge protection for knowledge sharing

Abstract

Purpose – Collaboration for research and development (R&D) and innovation among various organizations can be beneficial and in some cases even imperative, but in order to realise the potential, effective management is required. Effective innovation requires firms to share their core knowledge, and simultaneously make sure that they will not lose their core knowledge and future competitive advantage. In line with this, this study aims to clarify the role of knowledge protection in relation to collaborative innovation endeavours.

Design/methodology/approach – This study approaches the knowledge protection and knowledge sharing issues through a literature review and subsequent empirical analysis of 242 Finnish companies.

Findings – The results indicate that when a firm has put effort in getting strong protection at its disposal, sharing knowledge with varying partners is more likely, which, in turn, improves innovation performance of the firm. It is not just about the strength of protection, but also – and even more importantly – using it efficiently that counts.

Research limitations/implications – The data are collected from one country only, with its specific features, and thus further research might reveal more on the studied phenomenon. Also utilising more detailed measures might reveal more.

Practical implications – This study augments both theoretical and managerial perspectives as it discusses a variety of protection mechanisms. In particular, it offers managers a new way of approaching the means of knowledge protection for innovation-related collaboration.

Originality/value – This study shows that a wide range of knowledge protection mechanisms can be relied on, and that strategic use of these mechanisms improves knowledge sharing and innovation performance.
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