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Firms’ Innovative Performance: The Mediating Role of Innovative Collaborations

Lee, Lena and Wong, Poh Kam (2009): Firms’ Innovative Performance: The Mediating Role of Innovative Collaborations.

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Abstract

While existing studies have provided many insightful discussions on the antecedents to innovative collaborations and the benefits of collaborative behavior, few studies have focused on the mediating role of innovative collaborations in enhancing the firm’s technological innovative performance. In this paper, we investigate the mediating role of the firm’s innovative collaborations in the relation between government innovation support and the firm’s product and process innovation intensities. As a mediating factor in the innovation process, innovative collaborations form part of the innovative inputs that contribute to the firm’s product and process innovation intensities. Using arguments derived from the resource-based theory, we found that while receipts of government innovation support help increase the firm’s level of innovative inputs as observed in its collaboration intensity, it is equally important for firms to internalize management practices that encourage maximum leverage of government innovation support for pursuits of innovative collaborations. In a similar vein, while innovative collaborations are necessary for realizing innovative outputs including product and process innovations, it is not a sufficient condition for achieving strong innovative performance. The firm’s internal capabilities as observed in its learning, R&D, resource allocation, manufacturing, marketing, organizing, and strategic planning abilities have a positive influence on the relationship between innovative collaborations and innovative outputs.

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