Title: The influences of characteristics of three intrafirm networks on firm exploitative and exploratory innovation
Authors: Guiyang Zhang; Chaoying Tang
Addresses: School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210094, China ' School of Economics and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China
Abstract: Existing literature suggests that firm innovation is embedded in the social network of R&D cooperation between employees and the knowledge network of co-application between knowledge elements. We additionally investigate a two-mode network composed of linkage between employees and knowledge elements, namely the employee-knowledge network. Using the patent information of 39 Chinese high-tech firms from the pharmaceutical, automobile, electronics, and telecommunication industries, we construct three intrafirm networks, namely employee cooperative network, knowledge network, and employee-knowledge network, extract network characteristics, including tie quantity, tie heterogeneity, and tie proportion of preexisting agents with new agents, and examine their influences on firm innovation. The findings suggest that ties of employee cooperative network and employee-knowledge network positively impact firm exploitative innovation rather than exploratory innovation, while ties of knowledge network positively impact both types of firm innovation. Tie heterogeneity of all three networks positively impacts on firm exploitative as well as exploratory innovation. Tie proportion of preexisting agents with new agents of knowledge network and employee-knowledge network positively impact firm exploratory innovation rather than the exploitative one, while tie proportion of preexisting agents with new agents of employee cooperative network positively impacts both types of firm innovation.
Keywords: employee cooperative network; knowledge network; employee-knowledge network; firm exploitative innovation; firm exploratory innovation.
International Journal of Technology Management, 2020 Vol.83 No.4, pp.205 - 227
Accepted: 17 Jun 2020
Published online: 23 Sep 2020 *