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Building small firm performance through intellectual capital development: Exploring innovation as the “black box”

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  • McDowell, William C.
  • Peake, Whitney O.
  • Coder, LeAnne
  • Harris, Michael L.

Abstract

Innovation seems to be a fundamental requirement for the growth and sustainability of small businesses. While previous research revealed a strong correlation between intellectual capital and performance, the role of intellectual capital in facilitating the innovativeness and performance of a firm has not been thoroughly examined in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) context. This study examines the role of innovativeness in the intellectual capital and organizational performance relationship using a sample of small firms. The results of a survey conducted on 460 small business owners indicate a positive relationship between two components of intellectual capital, human capital and organizational capital, and organizational performance. Further analysis finds that innovativeness partially mediates the relationship between intellectual capital and organizational performance. Our findings indicate that efficiently and effectively organized firms can leverage well skilled and innovative employees to achieve the best performance through innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • McDowell, William C. & Peake, Whitney O. & Coder, LeAnne & Harris, Michael L., 2018. "Building small firm performance through intellectual capital development: Exploring innovation as the “black box”," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 321-327.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:321-327
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.01.025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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