Title: Why are Chinese partners passive innovators? National culture, organisation processes and innovation propensity in cross-border alliances

Authors: Jun Lin

Addresses: School of Business, State University of New York at New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561, USA

Abstract: China is striving to transform its economy from one that relies on imitation to one that is based on innovation. This shift creates an opportunity for both domestic and foreign partners of cross-border alliances to engage in innovation cross-pollination. However, a challenge remains since Chinese partners are not quite ready as indigenous innovators. This paper intends to develop a theoretical framework to examine the obstacles related to national culture and organisation processes that impede Chinese partners' propensity to innovation. It elaborates on how cultural moderators influence the mechanisms of innovation in international alliances, covering issues such as identity change, legitimacy, diffusion pattern, group identity, task accomplishment, uncertainty assessment, and resource preparation. Chinese partners under the influence of a culture with high power distance, collectivism, and low uncertainty avoidance are more likely to play a passive role in innovation. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

Keywords: innovation management; innovation propensity; international alliances; national culture; China; organisational processes; cross-border alliances; culture; cultural moderators; passive role; identity change; legitimacy; diffusion patterns; group identity; task accomplishment; uncertainty assessment; resource preparation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2013.059890

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2013 Vol.17 No.4/5/6, pp.271 - 283

Received: 03 Jul 2012
Accepted: 02 Aug 2013

Published online: 30 Apr 2014 *

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