Collaborative networks and product innovation performance: Toward a contingency perspective
An increasing number of studies have examined the impact of collaborative networks on product innovation performance, but have produced inconsistent results. This research contributes to existing literature by examining how absorptive capacity affects the relationships between different types of partners and product innovation performance. The sample used in this research is drawn from the Taiwanese Technological Innovation Survey (TTIS) database. A moderated hierarchical regression approach is used to analyze the models, which are further explored by firm size and industry type. Some interesting findings appear. First, absorptive capacity positively moderates the impact of vertical collaboration on the performance of technologically new or improved products. Second, the effect of absorptive capacity on the relationship between supplier collaboration and the performance of new products with marginal changes varies based on firm size and industry type. Third, absorptive capacity negatively affects the relationship between customer collaboration and the performance of marginally changed products. Fourth, absorptive capacity positively affects the relationship between competitor collaboration and the performance of new products with marginal changes for large firms. Fifth, absorptive capacity negatively affects the relationship between collaboration with research organizations and the performance of technologically new or improved products. On the contrary, absorptive capacity positively affects the impact of collaboration with research organizations on the performance of marginally changed products. These results enrich current understanding of the relationships between collaborative networks and product innovation performance.
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