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The temporal trajectories of innovative search: Insights from public hospital services

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  • Salge, Torsten Oliver

Abstract

This article explores the temporal trajectories of innovative search. Drawing on conceptual ideas from the behavioural theory of the firm, it proposes that the level of temporal persistence in organisations’ innovative search activities is affected by four key factors. These include (i) the mode of innovative search as well as organisations’ (ii) strategic aspirations, (iii) slack resources and (iv) performance feedback. This conceptual model is tested in the context of public hospital services in England. Results from dynamic panel data analyses reveal stronger temporal persistence in science- than in practice-based innovative search activities. Findings also suggest that specialist hospitals relying on a continuous stream of new products, services and processes to meet their strategic aspirations are better positioned to sustain science-based innovative search activities than their generalist counterparts. Similarly, results uncover a positive association between the availability of financial slack and hospitals’ ability to continuously engage in superior levels of science-based innovative search. Contrary to theoretical expectations, however, positive performance feedback does not appear to have any persistence-enhancing effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Salge, Torsten Oliver, 2012. "The temporal trajectories of innovative search: Insights from public hospital services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 720-733.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:4:p:720-733
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.01.003
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:hcarem:v:21:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10729-016-9376-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:socmed:v:192:y:2017:i:c:p:143-151 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Machado Léo, Ricardo & Tello‐Gamarra, Jorge, 2016. "Inovac¸ão em servic¸os: estado da arte e perspectivas futuras
      [Innovation in services: state of the art and future perspectives]
      ," MPRA Paper 82195, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Mar 2017.
    4. Taran Thune & Magnus Gulbrandsen, 2016. "Innovation in hospitals: piloting a tool for investigating contributions of hospital employees to innovation," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20161211, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    5. Thune, Taran & Mina, Andrea, 2016. "Hospitals as innovators in the health-care system: A literature review and research agenda," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1545-1557.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; Persistence; Innovative search; Behavioural theory of the firm; Public sector; Hospital services;

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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