Title: Does knowledge mediate the relationship between the environment and the decision to innovate or imitate?

Authors: Ana Perez-Luno

Addresses: Business Administration Department, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Ctra. Utrera, Km. 1 – 41013 Sevilla, Spain

Abstract: This paper describes the mediator role of knowledge (codifiability and complexity) between the environment (dynamism, sophistication and hostility) and the decision to innovate or to imitate. The author argues that innovation and imitation are the endpoints of a continuum, and that each is associated with different degrees of knowledge codifiability and complexity. The results support this argument, reveal the influence of environmental dimensions on knowledge types, and on the decision of innovating and imitating, and provide a positive answer to the traditional question: |Are innovators more profitable than imitators?| The author tested the hypotheses with a survey of 238 firms from the most innovative Spanish industries using structural equation modelling.

Keywords: environment; product innovation; Spain; knowledge complexity; knowledge codifiability; performance; structural equation modelling; SEM; new products; product imitation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2009.022953

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2009 Vol.3 No.1, pp.6 - 22

Published online: 04 Feb 2009 *

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