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International Journal of Technology Management
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International Journal of Technology Management (43 papers in press)
Special Issue on: Intangible Assets and Innovation Management
Abstract: Science-based university spin-offs face considerable technology and market uncertainty over extended periods of time, increasing the challenges of commercialization. Scientist-entrepreneurs can play formative roles in commercializing lab-based scientific inventions through the formation of well-endowed university spin-offs. Through case study analysis of three science-based university spin-offs within a biotechnology innovation ecosystem, we unpack the impact of pre-formation intangible assets of academic scientists (research excellence, patenting, and international networks) and their entrepreneurial capabilities on spin-off performance. We find evidence that the pre-formation intangible assets of scientists endow science-based university spin-offs through the development of their entrepreneurial capabilities. A theory-driven model is developed depicting the role of pre-formation intangible assets and entrepreneurial capabilities in endowing science-based university spin-offs. Recommendations are provided for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to more effectively commercialize high potential inventions in the university lab through the development and deployment of pre-formation intangible assets and entrepreneurial capabilities.
Keywords: Intangible assets; entrepreneurial capabilities; university spin-offs; scientist-entrepreneurs; academic scientists; dynamic capabilities; pre-formation; firm performance; biotechnology; science-based ventures; international networks.
Abstract: This article explores dual affiliated graduate students, which conduct research involving both universities and firms, which we conceptualize as a form of academic engagement, e.g. knowledge networks. We explore what they do during their studies as well as their perceptions about their contributions to the firms capacities for technology and innovation. So far, university-industry interactions in engineering are less researched than other fields, and this qualitative study focuses upon one department of Electrical Engineering in Sweden. First, we define and describe how the partner firms and universities organize this research collaboration as a form of academic engagement. Secondly, we propose a conceptual framework specifying how graduate students act as boundary-spanners between universities and firms. This framework is used for the empirical analysis, when exploring their perceptions of impact. Our results reveal the details of how they primarily engage in problem-solving activities in technology, which augment particularly the early stages of absorptive capacities in firms. Hence, academic engagement through dual affiliated graduate students relies on very specific activities and purposes of indirect pathways on innovation, which has practical implications.
Keywords: Intangible assets; Dual affiliated PhD students; academic engagement; engineering; university-industry interactions; collaborative research; boundary spanner; absorptive capacity; engineering.
The Relationship Between Creative Slack as an Intangible Asset and the Innovative Capabilities of the Firm
by Patrick Cohendet, Olivier Dupouet, Raouf Naggar, Romain Rampa, Laurent Simon
Abstract: The notion of creative slack purposefully refers to the notion of organizational slack proposed by Penrose (1959), who suggested that managers in organizations always have some stock of unused resources that inevitably accumulate when developing projects and are the primary factors determining the growth and innovation of the firm.\r\nIn this contribution, we aim at adding a new dimension to the notion of organizational slack: Our view is that in many innovative organizations the slack of unused ideas is essentially a creative one, which is accumulated in diverse communities through multiple projects. This creative slack is as a key intangible asset and a source of knowledge creation and innovation. \r\nTo explain how organizations may benefit in terms of innovation of the creative slack accumulated by communities , we rely on the analysis of two case studies, that of the Hydro-Quebec research institute (IREQ), and of Ubisoft Montreal.\r\n
Keywords: organizational slack; creative slack; communities; innovation capabilities; intangible asset; growth of the firm.
Knowing thy Neighbor: Creating and Capturing Value from a Firms Alliance Experiences
by Desmond Ng, Leonardo Sánchez-Aragón, Chrystol Thomas-Winston
Abstract: Intellectual Assets, especially its relational forms, have become increasingly important to explain a firm's innovation. To examine relational forms of intellectual assets (IA), this study theoretically and empirically advances a concept of alliance management capability (AMC) to explain the value creation and capture aspects of a firms innovation process. The concepts of Value-Creating Alliance Experiences (VCAE) and Value Capturing Alliance Experiences (VCPAE) were introduced in which a firms ability to learn from these alliance experiences increases the firms ability to discover and govern partnerships that bring the firms innovations to market. Hypotheses were developed and empirically examined in the biotechnology industry. A contribution of this study is that a firms VCAE and VCPAE introduce a greater openness to a firms innovation process. This openness enables a firm to better adapt and respond to the opportunities of the market and thus impact a firms competitive advantage to innovate.
Keywords: Relational Intellectual Assets; Alliance management Capability; Innovation.
INTANGIBLE ASSETS AND THE PRODUCTIVITY SLOWDOWN
by Cristiano Antonelli, Guido Pialli
Abstract: Over recent decades, advanced economies have been characterized by reduced rates of productivity. In this article, we advance the hypothesis that one of the potential causes of this trend might be the new knowledge capitalization practices. Capitalization of intangible assets is justified by the limited exhaustibility of knowledge, which implies its slow obsolescence and, hence, having the potential of being capitalized to reflect its prolonged period of contribution to productivity. However, the capitalization of an increasing proportion of the assets that initially were accounted for as labour or intermediate inputs is having a direct effect on increasing capital and theoretical output and reducing Total Factor Productivity (TFP). Our empirical analysis based on US-listed firms shows that the capitalization of knowledge strongly reduces both the levels of TFP and, because of its fast increase in the last two decades, its rates of growth.
Keywords: Total Factor Productivity; Intangible capital; Productivity slowdown; Technology production function; Output elasticity of knowledge.
by Si Zhang, Yixin Xie, Peipei Yang
Abstract: This study explores how the disclosure of corporate social responsibility (CSR) influences firms green innovation performance and specifically scrutinises the roles of actors in the innovation ecosystem, including suppliers, users, and governments. We investigate the green innovation performance of 79 listed firms with 337 firm-year observations in China, covering the period from 2006 to 2020. The results show that not only firms' CSR disclosure but also firms' suppliers and users who are experienced in green practices can improve firms' green innovation performance. Moreover, suppliers with much green practice experience are also found to positively moderate the relationship between CSR disclosure and firms' green innovation performance. This study provides a new lens through which to understand the mechanisms of firms' green innovation and provides policy-makers and managers with a different mentality when formulating regulations and innovation strategies.
Keywords: CSR disclosure; innovation ecosystem; green practices; green innovation performance.
Spatial Evolution and Driving Force of Green Technological Innovation in China: The Perspective of Innovation Ecosystem
by Yuxuan Tang, Qiangming Yan, Tingting Xie, Yubin Chen
Abstract: The green innovation ecosystem is a holistic structure, generating synergistic effects of the innovation subjects and innovation milieus, which lead to a distinctive increase in green innovation outputs. However, discussions on the temporospatial characteristics of the evolution pattern and the influential factors behind spatial evolution remain rather limited. This paper analyses the spatial evolution of green technology development with a sample of green patent applications at the provincial level in China from 20092019. It systematises the indicators of innovation actors and external factors for green innovation output, using principle-component methods and establishing geographically weighted regression. The results show that green innovation output appears to diffuse rapidly in China. The evolution of the spatial pattern follows high value concentration diffusing to low value areas. Morans I indicates that the spillover effect of technology demonstrates a strong spatial correlation, driving a balanced development of green technology. The external factors shaping the innovation ecosystem for green innovation mainly stem from the policy and infrastructure environment for green development, while financial resource investment in Chinas green innovation ecosystem is insufficient.
Keywords: green innovation output; innovation ecosystem; Morans index; spatial evolution; technological development.
Technology transfers to whom and why? TERGM analysis across regional green technology transfer network in China
by Yufen Chen, Keping Wang
Abstract: Building and improving the national green technology transfer system is significant for maintaining regional sustainable development. Based on the interprovincial green patent transfer data from 2006 to 2020, this paper constructs China's regional green technology transfer networks (CGTTNs) and studies the evolution of structural properties and the mechanisms of endogenous evolution. Results from social network analysis (SNA) and temporal exponential random graph model (TERGM) show the following. Firstly, the relationships within CGTTN are becoming increasingly close. However, the ability and efficiency of CGTTN organisations to use and integrate supplementary resources still need to be improved. Secondly, CGTTNs experience structural dependence effects, and the Matthew effect is obvious. The technology flow of CGTTNs has hierarchical characteristics, but has not yet formed network clustering. Thirdly, CGTTNs have intertemporal dependence effects, and path dependence and path creation coexist. These findings help provide knowledge to accelerate the diffusion of regional green technology innovation.
Keywords: green technology transfer; social network analysis; SNA; temporal exponential random graph model; TERGM; endogenous evolution mechanism.
Promoting green innovations for SMEs in emerging economies: Exploring the role of value supporters in innovation ecosystems
by Shengxi Yang, Jiaming Yang, Yanting Guo
Abstract: Innovation ecosystems represent one of the effective solutions to drive green innovation in emerging economies. Despite joining the ecosystem, numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still face barriers in the implementation of green innovation. A specific type of complementors within the innovation ecosystem, namely value supporters, plays a pivotal role in facilitating the innovative activities of SMEs, yet the existing research has largely labelled it as a broad term of complementors without differentiating the heterogeneous traits and characteristic behaviours that determine their engagement in value creation activities. Following an inductive approach, we conduct an explorative case study on Bering 3D, a leading 3D printing company in China. Our findings show that the value supporter assists SMEs in achieving green innovation by supplementing, translating, and expanding mechanisms. These mechanisms are efficacious in reducing SMEs innovation resource constraints and boosting their initiative. We contribute to the innovation ecosystem and green innovation literature.
Keywords: value support; innovation ecosystem; green innovation; emerging economy; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs.
Use Cross-border M&As to Build Innovation Ecosystems: ESG practices, Governmental Control, and EMNEs' Green Technological Innovation
by Xiaoting Hu, Wenjing Lyu, Rongjia Zhang
Abstract: Multinational enterprises in emerging economies (EMNEs) increasingly leverage cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) to acquire strategic complementary assets to construct their innovation ecosystems. However, how will the EMNEs utilise the interactions between essential actors in their innovation ecosystems (i.e., EMNEs themselves, government, and national innovation systems) to conduct post-acquisition green innovation stays unclear. Based on the data of cross-border M&As completed by Chinese listed manufacturing firms during 20092015, this study finds that EMNEs environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices positively affect their post-acquisition green innovation. However, the knowledge distance between China and the host countries weakens the relationship. Meanwhile, Chinese governmental control over the economy promotes EMNEs green innovation, and environmental subsidies strengthen the impacts. This study contributes to the innovation ecosystem and international business literature by shedding light on the construction of the innovation ecosystem of technology laggards and synergistically considering the influence of different actors involved and their interactions on EMNEs post-acquisition green innovation.
Keywords: cross-border M&As; innovation ecosystems; green innovation; ESG practices; governmental control over the economy; EMNEs.
How Complementors Deal with Complement Challenges: A Comparative Study of Ports in the Wind Energy Ecosystem
by Alexandra Elena Carst, Ping Lv
Abstract: Complementors enhance the value of the ecosystem's core proposition; however, their complement challenges may evolve into bottlenecks, disrupting the entire ecosystem and threatening its health and development. Considering their ecosystem-level effects, complement challenges have been researched mainly from the focal firm's perspective. However, this study considers the complementors vantage points to explore their approaches to dealing with complement challenges. We rely on the insights of two ports in Denmark and China, which act as complementors in the offshore wind energy ecosystem. Depending on the complexity of complement challenges and their willingness to comply, complementors rely on several approaches, i.e., compliant collaboration, sub-ecosystem building, alignment pursuance, developing an ecosystem perspective, and position leveraging. Although being collaborative and even building a sub-ecosystem seem natural for port-complementors, other approaches fall outside the normal pattern of complementors value-adding role. This study contributes to expanding complementors' views of the management of complement challenges in ecosystems.
Keywords: complementors; complement challenges; innovation ecosystems; bottlenecks; ecosystem alignment; position leveraging; comparative study; wind energy.
Green Technology Innovation Ecosystem Design under the Carbon Neutrality Target: Evidence from a Multiple Case Study in China
by Yimei Hu, Jingqiu Liao, Zhi Su, Ziyang Wang, Tian Wu
Abstract: The adoption of green technologies has become a major challenge for manufacturing enterprises seeking to achieve green transformation. While previous research has mainly focused on developing new green technologies and products, there is a lack of attention on the adoption of mature technologies. This study aims to explore an innovation ecosystem design which may facilitate the adoption of green technologies via specific channels. Using a multiple case study design, this study investigates four representative enterprises in promoting the adoption of green technologies and propose a general framework, identifying four key ecosystem design paradigms and two channels for overcoming barriers to adoption. This study enriches the literature on ecosystem design and contributes to the theory of green transformation by incorporating the ecosystem perspective. The findings also also shed light on promoting the overall green transformation and upgrading the manufacturing industry in emerging economies.
Keywords: green transformation; green innovation; innovation ecosystem; green technology adoption; China.
(How) does digital transformation promote boundary-spanning strategies? Evidence from Chinese firms unrelated diversification
by Di Zhu, W. G. Will Zhao, Qin Wu, Xiao Zhang
Abstract: The emergence of new generations of digital technologies has presented firms with important strategic opportunities at the corporate level. This study investigates the digital transformation - unrelated diversification link and theorises the role of industry shakeout and the performance expectation gap in said relationship. Our analysis based on the data of Chinas A-share listed manufacturing firms from 2015 to 2020 shows that: 1) the degree of firms digital transformation is positively correlated to the degree of their unrelated diversification; 2) industry shakeout positively moderates the above relationship, i.e., in industries with a higher degree of shakeout, the positive digital transformation-unrelated diversification link is more pronounced; 3) the performance expectation gap negatively moderates the digital transformation-unrelated diversification link, i.e., the greater the performance expectation gap, the weaker the positive correlation between firms digital transformation and their unrelated diversification.
Keywords: digital innovation; unrelated diversification; industry shakeouts; performance expectation gap; corporate strategy; digital transformation.
Does the techno-nationalism approach work for the nations catch-up? - The evaluation of MLP (2006-2020) in China
by Peipei Yang, Xielin Liu, Richard P. Suttmeier, Si Zhang
Abstract: In 2006, China launched the National Middle and Long-Term Plan for Science and Technology Development, 20062020 (MLP), which proposed the indigenous innovation. It is among the most essential S&T policies during the past several decades in China, aiming to catch up with the leading countries. This plan marks a transition of China from the techno-globalism development paradigm to the techno-nationalism paradigm, along with changes in the views toward globalisation, the roles of the state, and the underlying logics. The paper examines this policy's implementation, outcomes as well as the role of techno-nationalism in Chinas catch-up by incorporating the institutional logics perspective. Our analysis demonstrates that, although significant progress has been made in Chinas science and technology, and catch-up has been realised to some degree, improvements are still needed urgently for Chinas further development.
Keywords: techno-nationalism; MLP; indigenous innovation; catch-up; China.
Development and application of patent management maturity model: a capability-based perspective
by Yurong Zhang, Wei Yang
Abstract: This paper aims to develop a comprehensive patent management maturity model (PMMM) in order to support organisations to progressively analyse, understand and improve their patent management maturity (PMM). Through a thorough analysis of existing literature and an extensive survey, we have identified core components of patent management capabilities (PMCs) and categorised them into seven dimensions, each comprising two to four key elements. The meticulous description of maturity levels of the elements provides organisations with a clear roadmap for continuous improvement of their PMM. Furthermore, two Chinese manufacturing firms were chosen as examples to demonstrate how the model may be employed and its efficiency. The model is beneficial for assessing the distribution of strengths and weaknesses in various parts of organisations PMCs and for upgrading their PMCs through integrating, building, and reconfiguring patent-related processes, thereby increasing the organisation's capability to make intelligent decisions.
Keywords: patent management capabilities; PMCs; dynamic capability; patent management maturity; PMM; maturity model; maturity levels; China; case study.
Generational Technological Change, Organizational Search, and Firm Product Innovation Performance in New Generational Markets
by Kyung Hwan Yun, Chenguang Hu, Jeffrey Covin
Abstract: By integrating the evolutionary perspective and the behavioural theory of the firm, this study draws on the generational technological change (GTC) and organisational search (OS) literatures and explores how problemistic and slack search, local and non-local search, search timing, and cumulative search experience of incumbent firms and new entrants lead to firm product innovation performance in new generational markets. Several distinctive features of GTC are discussed, including incremental and non-drastic innovation, co-existence of generations, and necessity for significant managerial attention and financial investment. With an in-depth investigation on the mobile phone manufacturing industry, particularly focusing on the Chinese mobile phone manufacturing industry, this study sheds light on irreversible evolutionary dynamics and GTC for incumbent firms and new entrants, OS for new generational technological knowledge, and their effects on product innovation performance in the new generation.
Keywords: generational technological change; GTC; organisational search; mobile phone manufacturing industry; MPMI; product innovation; evolutionary perspective; the behavioural theory of the firm.
The mediating effect of business process digitization on organizational unlearning and the firms' innovation quality: Evidence from China
by Yunlong Duan, Yushu Liu, Meng Yang, Shanshan Wang, Jie Jin
Abstract: With the rapid development of the digital economy, organisational resources and paradigms have dramatically changed, suggesting it is imperative for firms to unlearn the obsolete knowledge and adopt digital technologies and platforms to achieve high-quality innovation. However, there is currently little research exploring the role of organisational unlearning in innovation quality in the context of digital transformation. Based on a questionnaire survey of 324 respondents from various industries across China, this study proves that organisational unlearning significantly facilitates a firm's innovation quality divided into three dimensions, (i.e., technology innovation quality, transformation innovation quality, and service innovation quality). Additionally, business process digitisation plays a partial mediating role in the above relationships. This study contributes to organisational learning and innovation management literature. It also serves as a reference for managers to upgrade existing business processes while making effective strategic decisions on innovation.
Keywords: organisational unlearning; business process digitisation; innovation quality; China.
Digitalisation and Complementary Integration: A Case Study of a Chinese Real Estate Company
by Xinzhi Chang, Xielin Liu
Abstract: In the digital age, incumbents are seeking new strategies to address their lack of digital capabilities and resources. To avoid disruption, complementary integration offers incumbents a mean to explore creative destruction proactively. Complementary integration is organised around dynamic capabilities and resource management, transforming incumbents identities through implementing complementary activities to achieve value chain integration. However, few empirical studies have explained how complementary integration is achieved. Focusing on the development of construction robots by a Chinese real estate company, this paper uses dynamic capabilities and resource management theories to show how incumbents can achieve complementary integration through digital upgrading. The paper emphasises that the ability to identify complementary industries, seize and bundle complementary resources, and re-configure and leverage complementary capabilities helps to transform traditional incumbents into complementary industry leaders. This process leads to the emergence of complementary integration strategies, which create a new industry and market logic. In addition, the paper emphasises the nuances of complementary integration and cross-boundary disruption in expanding the boundary of firms.
Keywords: digitalisation; complementary integration; incumbents; dynamic capabilities; construction robots.
Configurations for corporate digital innovation: Investigating the roles of technology, organisation and environment
by Yaojun Wang, Pinglei Xu, Xiaoyu Yu, Xiaoyong Zhou
Abstract: Corporations are increasingly applying digital technologies to gain competitive advantages. However, not all firm initiatives result in digital innovation. Studies have highlighted the ambivalent role of individual factors, such as technological, organisational or environmental factors, in fostering or hindering digital innovation. Using a configurational approach of fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), we investigate the interplay of six conditions within the technology-organisation-environment (TOE) framework that potentially influence digital innovation. Based on data from 195 Chinese manufacturing companies, we identify four configurations that lead to digital innovation. This study enhances understanding of the interdependence of the causal conditions (e.g., technology infrastructure) in set relations with outcome of digital innovation in different firms. This study also enriches the literature that investigates antecedents of digital innovation holistically.
Keywords: digital technology; digital innovation; fsQCA analysis; TOE framework; manufacturing firms; China.
How Do Director Networks Improve Digital Innovation in China? An Explanation Grounded in Knowledge-based View
by Qiang Lu, Yihang Zhou, Jinliang Chen, Yang Deng
Abstract: The role of links in knowledge transmission, from the external to the internal, highlights the need to explore whether director networks can promote digital innovation. Based on knowledge-based view, this study assesses the influence of director networks on digital innovation. With the analysis of data (from 2012 to 2019) from Chinese manufacturing listed companies, this study finds the following results: 1) director network centrality has a positive effect on digital innovation; 2) director network structural holes positively impact digital innovation; 3) knowledge environment negatively moderates the relationship between director networks and digital innovation; 4) legal environment negatively moderates the relationship between director network centrality and digital innovation, but has no moderating effect on the relationship between director network structural holes and digital innovation. This study explores the relationship between director networks and digital innovation, providing both practical and theoretical significance to the field of digital innovation.
Keywords: digital innovation; director network centrality; director network structural holes; knowledge-based view; KBV; China.
Innovation at the project level: The role of organizational innovation capabilities
by Lars Hovdan Molden, Maryna Vakulenko, Tommy Høyvarde Clausen
Abstract: Strategic management research shows that organizational innovation capabilities enable innovation at the firm level. Extending this research, we develop the theoretical argument that firms with internal and external organizational innovation capabilities are more likely to create innovation at the project level. Drawing on a longitudinal survey of innovation projects and regression analysis, we find that internal and external organizational innovation capabilities have a positive influence on technological and non-technological innovation at the project level. Our paper contributes by examining the role of organizational innovation capabilities in a new and highly appropriate setting, namely the project level. A key theoretical implication is that innovation capabilities enable organizations to manage the uncertainties and complexities of the innovation journey as it manifests at the project level. This is another testimony to the importance of innovation capabilities for organizations searching for innovation.
Keywords: internal and external organizational innovation capabilities; internal and external search; technological innovation output; non-technological innovation output.
How can Technology Intelligence experts benefit from the use of structured analytical frameworks? Proposals based on the Technological Innovation System approach
by Marina Flamand, Vincent Frigant
Abstract: Technology Intelligence as an information practice for decision support in innovation is attracting increasing interest from companies. This exploratory article discusses an underestimated way to improve technology intelligence practices: the use of structured analysis frameworks. We present an opportunity for technology intelligence experts to incorporate the lessons of innovation studies into the way they study the dynamics of innovation, thereby consolidating and diversifying the insights they are likely to provide to decision makers. More specifically, we show how the Technological Innovation Systems approach can contribute to technology intelligence analysis. We argue that this approach can provide a relevant analytical tool for analysing and evaluating the development of a particular technological field. As a result, the analyses produced will be richer and the professionalisation of the technology intelligence experts can be expected to improve.
Keywords: Technology intelligence; technological innovation system; structured analytical framework; technological field study.
The interplay between moral and creativity: examples from R&D institutions
by Stéphane Gangloff, Klaus Peter Schulz, Kamel Mnisri
Abstract: n this study, we explore the relationship between collective creativity and moral engagement within a sample of research and development teams. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate that social skills represent an essential point of commonality between the concepts of creative behaviour and moral engagement. Based on 13 semi-structured interviews at four European public and private institutions, involved in both applied and fundamental research domains, our research identified that prosocial motivation, which can be seen as the desire to share and help others, has a positive effect on creativity and moral behaviour. In addition, this research confirms the theoretical posture on the construct of prosocial motivation and contributes to the literature by isolating the concepts of perspective-taking and other-focused as two concise leverages for moral and creative engagement in teams of researchers.
Keywords: Team/Collective Creativity; Creative Process; Moral Behaviour; Moral Imagination; Research and Development Processes.
Special Issue on: Technology Management in Carbon Neutrality Challenges, Methods and Applications in Industry 4.0 Era
by Tao Hong, Xiyi Chen, Zongdi Toby Wang, Shujie Yao
Abstract: Green technology innovation (GTI) is commonly seen as an essential way to decrease carbon emissions (CE). However, its advancement may result in the so-called carbon rebound effect which may offset its emission-reducing efficacy. This study examines the overall effect of GTI on CE using a fixed-effect model and a large panel dataset comprising China's 276 cities from 2007-2017. The main research findings include: 1) there exist inverted U-shaped relationships between GTI and per capita as well as total CE for the entire data sample; 2) regional heterogeneity exists regarding the relationships between GTI and CE (CE per capita). The empirical results have important policy implications on GTI to contain CE.
Keywords: green technology innovation; GTI; carbon emissions; carbon rebound effect; inverted U-shaped relationship.
Impact of green subsidies on green innovation of environmental service firms in China
by Xiaofeng Xu, Xiangyu Chen, Yiqi Li, Guangrui Jiang
Abstract: This research investigates the influence of green subsidies on the green innovation of environmental service firms using multiple linear regression. It covers the years 2014 through 2020 for environmental service firms listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges. The results demonstrate that: 1) green subsidies can encourage the green innovation of environmental service firms, and research and development (R&D) investment mediates this effect; 2) the intensity of environmental regulation moderates the relationship between R&D investment and green innovation in a negative manner; 3) in less developed regions, green subsidies are more effective for promoting green innovation. These findings may assist the government in establishing green subsidy programs and developing sensible environmental policies to promote the green development of environmental service firms.
Keywords: green subsidies; green innovation; environmental regulation; environmental service; China.
How does product innovation affect the performance of university-industry collaboration? A dynamic knowledge transfer perspective
by Huiyong Yi, Qian Zhang
Abstract: Product innovation is gradually being noticed in university-industry collaboration (UIC), yet research on its impact on performance is scarce. A dynamic knowledge transfer perspective is presented in our paper, which is an integration of the dynamic nature of knowledge transfer and dynamic strategies, exploring R&D effort strategies in UIC. Further, we apply a Stackelberg differential game to portray the knowledge transfer process and investigate how product innovation affects UIC performance. The results indicate that in the scenario where the leadership positions of the two participants can be interchanged, stronger performance occurs in the case of university leadership. Equilibrium strategies that maximise the revenues always exist no matter who is the game leader, and revenues are U-shaped correlated with product innovativeness. Intriguingly, our research shows that enterprises' revenue-sharing ratios do not always lead to higher profits. Our study provides several insights for both universities and firms.
Keywords: university-industry collaboration; UIC; performance; knowledge transfer; Stackelberg differential game.
ICT-empowered rural e-commerce development in China: an adaptive structuration perspective
by Xiaoshan Yang, Yan Jiang, Xiaowei Chen, Fu Jia
Abstract: The emergence of e-commerce has rejuvenated China's backwards and poor remote rural areas. However, knowledge about how information and communication technology (ICT) develops e-commerce business in rural areas is still limited. From the perspective of adaptive structuration theory (AST), we conducted an in-depth case study of four typical e-commerce companies in China's rural areas. The findings suggest that, facilitated by ICT, the development of rural e-commerce consists of the formation of platform strategy (including quality management and revenue structure) and the enactment of related services (including supply chain management (SCM) and marketing services). This process is influenced by firm-specific characteristics and ultimately leads to the intended/unintended outcomes for e-commerce companies and rural development. This study contributes to the information systems (IS) literature by explaining how e-commerce companies utilise ICT to develop their e-commerce business in rural areas from a novel AST perspective.
Keywords: ICT; e-commerce business; case studies; adaptive structuration theory; AST; China.
The impact of three-dimensional printing technology investment on a low-carbon manufacturing supply chain, investigated through the Stackelberg game
by Qian Zhao, Wei Chen, Mingwu Liu
Abstract: This paper investigates three-dimensional printing technology (3DPT) investment strategies promoting low-carbon supply chain development. A theoretical model is built in which either the manufacturer or retailer can lead an investment in 3DPT. The main results are as follows: 1) the manufacturer always benefits from investing in 3DPT and is willing to lead the investment, while the retailer also benefits but is only willing to lead the investment with a large cost coefficient of 3DPT investment; 2) investing in 3DPT always raises consumers' demands and reduces units of carbon emissions. Counterintuitively, implementing 3DPT may decrease the optimal prices and research and development investment (R&D), but increase total carbon emissions; 3) the optimal 3DPT investment is decreasing in terms of cost coefficient (CC); interestingly, CC had positive and negative impacts on wholesale and retail prices.
Keywords: low-carbon product development; 3DPT investment; product variety R&D; Stackelberg game.
Do carbon emissions trading pilots effectively reduce CO2 emissions? County-level evidence from eastern China
by Jian Yang, Chunli Liu, Xin Liu
Abstract: Over the past few years, China has been committed to effectively controlling greenhouse gas emissions and achieving peak the carbon emissions in 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060. For these purposes, China has taken a series of measures to strengthen intervention in industrial carbon emissions, among which the most important is a pilot project on carbon emissions trading since 2013. Few previous studies conducted on the emission-reduction effect of pilot projects have been from a county-level perspective. In this study, we employ a differences-in-differences method to empirically estimate the policy effect of such a pilot project, based on county-level data covering 413 units in eastern China. Our major findings show that carbon emissions trading pilots have an effective emission-reduction effect on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, while reporting a positive correlation with CO2 emission intensity. Another major finding is that the environmental Kuznets curve holds for the relationship between carbon emissions and economic growth. Our findings on the trading pilot suggest that governments at all levels should continue promoting a trading market framework that considers the regional heterogeneity. Additional measures should also be taken to create positive policy effects on carbon efficiency.
Keywords: carbon emissions trading pilot; CO2 emissions; CO2 emission intensity; emission-reduction effect.
A study on the influence of government subsidies on enterprises' innovative performance in Chinese patent-intensive industries
by Yifan Zhang, Yunfei Liu, Jingjing Wang, Nuozhou Huang
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to analyse the impact of government subsidies on investments in research and development (R&D) and the innovative performance of Chinese patent-intensive industries. Patent-intensive industries listed on the Shenzhen and Shanghai Stock Exchanges from 2013 to 2019 were chosen as the research samples, and the study methods included univariate linear regression and exponential regression analyses. The principal results were as follows: 1) government subsidies had a direct positive effect on firms' innovative performance, and R&D investment played a mediating role; 2) this facilitation effect was greater in state-owned enterprises; 3) the facilitation was also higher in the Greater Bay Area. Accordingly, the government should increase innovation R&D subsidies for patent-intensive enterprises, while enterprises should improve their R&D capabilities, thereby boosting their efficiency of innovation transformation.
Keywords: government subsidies; R&D investment; innovative performance.
Globalisation or regionalisation of technological knowledge learning in multinational corporations
by Feng Zhang
Abstract: This study examines the relationship between a global or regional distribution of technological knowledge learning activities of large multinational corporations (MNCs) and firm performance. This study focuses on explorative and exploitative learning activities of the world's largest MNCs in the electronics and pharmaceutical industries between 1980 and 2018. Herfindahl index is adapted to measure globalisation vs. regionalisation as one continuous variable. We find that the regionalisation of exploration and exploitation are positively associated with firm innovative and financial performance. For innovative performance, the regionalisation of exploration and exploitation is particularly important for pharmaceutical firms. In contrast, the regionalisation of exploitation for electronics firms and the regionalisation of exploration for pharmaceutical firms contribute to firm financial performance. This study contributes to both the MNC and organisational learning literature and offers managerial implications on organising technological competence creating activities in large MNCs.
Keywords: regionalisation; globalisation; geographical distribution; technological knowledge learning; multinational corporations.
Functional, hedonic, and social motivated consumer innovativeness as a driver of word-of-mouth in smart object early adoptions: an empirical examination in two product categories
by Zhenzhen Zhao, Marie Haikel-Elsabeh, Patricia Baudier, Damien Renard, Alexander Brem
Abstract: This research aims to consider, in the context of smart objects, the interplay of motivated consumer innovativeness (MCI), satisfaction and word-of-mouth (WOM). Following earlier behavioural research through three phases of attitudes (cognition, affection and conation), the study proposes that functional, hedonic, and social MCI (cognition) are positively related to satisfaction (affection), thus positively influencing WOM engagement (conation). In addition, it is shown that functional and hedonic MCI moderate the relationship between social MCI and satisfaction. Two quantitative studies across two smart object categories (1,129 users of wearables and 511 users of smart home objects) highlight that both functional and hedonic MCI positively relate to satisfaction and WOM. Though the effect of social MCI on satisfaction is non-significant for smart home objects and very low for wearables, our findings confirmed that social MCI has an indirect impact on satisfaction through functional and hedonic MCI in both product categories.
Keywords: consumer innovativeness; early adoption; internet of things; IoT; motivated consumer innovativeness; MCI; product adoption; satisfaction; smart home; smart objects; smart watch; wearable; word-of-mouth; WOM.
Special Issue on: Art And Imagination For Responsible And Disruptive Innovation Foresight Fiction And Narratives And Their Influence Exploitation And Potential
by Jan-Peter Schmitten, Julien Bucher
Abstract: Introduced in 2009, the founding narrative of blockchain technologies is one of the failures of the banking system and the disappointed hopes of freedom and democracy of the early internet. Blockchain technologies could rectify the lost trust and fulfil lost hopes by changing institutional arrangements and by removing intermediaries that resemble the corporate behemoths imagined in cyberpunk fiction. Using Greimas actantial-model, this study analyses how cyberpunk references are used by blockchain projects to frame their aims in terms of institutional change for more desirable futures. This study highlights the role of fictional stories in framing innovation and how they can reveal the institutional goals of organisations. A contrasting case without cyberpunk underscores the interpretive flexibility of blockchain technologies in terms of their potential to complement, change, or replace current institutions, leaving the
Keywords: blockchain; institutional change; cyberpunk; framing; narrative; actantial-model.
USING GREEN TEAM CREATIVITY IN DEVELOPING ECO-INNOVATION PROTOTYPES
by Ziska Fields
Abstract: Human actions are pushing life on earth to a sixth extinction. People will need to change the way they live and work together to solve complex green problems. The aim of this study was to show how important it is for the teaching and learning activities in higher education institutions (HEIs) to focus on green teamwork, green creativity and eco-innovation. This is important to prepare and encourage students and graduates to: 1) work in green teams; 2) to use green creativity, eco-innovation and prototyping to find green solutions. The study took the form of a small-group project carried out by 46 masters students at a German HEI. The instruction was that each team had to focus specifically on green issues in the project. They had to select their own green problem using green creativity and solve it using eco-innovation and prototyping. A survey was administered to gather the students views about green teamwork and their overall view of the project, instructions and suggested templates. The findings indicated that HEIs play an important role in green creativity, green prototyping and eco-innovation.
Keywords: collaboration; green problems; higher education institutions; HEIs; novel approaches; project.
Creative Transdisciplinary Architectural Design as Means for Realising the Sustainable Development Goals in the Built Environment
by Rana Geith, Sherif Goubran
Abstract: Attaining the sustainable development goals (SDGs) requires solutions synthesising multidisciplinary knowledge. We argue that architecture embraces the creative transdisciplinary required to address sustainable development challenges in the built environment. The paper proposes a framework that builds on how architecture, as a practice, encompasses a series of design-thinking domains with open possibilities, potential, and power for innovation. This framework comprises nine design domains: building technology, building materials, building construction, building management systems, indoor climate, recycling advancements, spatial planning, urban planning, and strategic planning. The framework is used to analyse case studies and to highlight how creative transdisciplinarity, integrated through architectural design, advances the realisation of global goals. The findings emphasise the often synergistic and innovative nature of the architecture solutions that link to multiple design domains with the SDGs. The paper concludes with a matrix that shows the interlinkages between the design domains and the SDGs, revealing a complex array of connections and overlaps.
Keywords: transdisciplinarity; sustainable development goals; SDGs; sustainability; built environment; architecture; design domains.
University incubators and entrepreneurial universities: a case study of the process of setting up a university incubator in a developing country
by Ulvick Houssou, Klaus Peter SCHULZ, Mahamadou Biga-Diambeidou, Serge Abihona
Abstract: Universities can play a role in promoting frugal innovation by encouraging the valorisation and transfer of research to the socio-economic world as well as the development of skills related to the employability of students. Specifically, through the practices it promotes, an entrepreneurial university can encourage innovations that will benefit vulnerable communities and act in response to their challenges. In a context of weak financial support from public authorities, the University of Abomey-Calavi set up a project to promote entrepreneurship that advances frugal innovation. The present study bases its approach on identifying the actors and factors that favoured the development of its incubation program, five years after its implementation. The same applies to the identification of the frugal innovation practices that it puts in place. The results show, among other things, that the university created a specific organisational framework, with a relatively long incubation period, and mobilising resources from local stakeholders.
Keywords: entrepreneurial university; University of Abomey-Calavi; university incubator; frugal innovation; developing countries.
Impact entrepreneurship to fight global warming: from utopia to practice
by Carine Sonntag, Gabriela Torres Ramos
Abstract: Team for the Planet
Keywords: real utopia; impact entrepreneurship; sustainable entrepreneurship; sustainable innovation; communities; global warming; grand challenges; netnography; Team for the Planet; TFTP.
Special Issue on: Digital Transformation and Innovation in Emerging Economies
by Pinglu Zhou, Donghong Li, Pengcheng Ma, Qiwei Zhou
Abstract: Digital transformation is crucial for firms to gain competitive advantages. While many studies focus on digital technologies, they take all digital technologies as the same and fail to explore the heterogeneity of digital technology. Motivated by this gap, this study explores the relationship between digital technology adoption diversity and knowledge sharing. Empirical findings from survey data of 123 large companies indicated that the association between digital technology adoption diversity and external knowledge sharing is inverted-U shaped; the association between digital technology adoption diversity and internal knowledge sharing is linear and positive. Moreover, environmental turbulence, including technological and policy turbulence, plays a moderating role on this relationship. This study expands the knowledge on digital transformation and knowledge management.
Keywords: digital transformation; digital technology; knowledge sharing; environmental turbulence.
Effect of the Digital Transformation of Firms in a Developing Country on their Reverse Innovation: The Complementary Roles of Multi-Contexts
by Xu Chu, Yuntao Bai
Abstract: Reverse innovation (RI) research on multinational companies (MNCs) in developed countries has flourished, while the driving mechanism of RI in firms in developing countries remains understudied. From a resource dependence theory perspective, this study proposes that digital transformation (DT) can serve as a strategic arrangement with convergence, connectivity, and image-shaping functions to help overcome the liability of foreignness of firms in developing countries, thereby facilitating their RI. Our evidence of 17,397 observations from Chinese listed manufacturing companies supports the relationship between DT and RI. Additionally, we find that several contextual factors (e.g., executives' overseas backgrounds (OSB), firms' internationalisation degree (INT), and regional market intermediaries' development (RMI)) facilitate a positive DT-RI relationship by reducing firms' liability of foreignness. Our research contributes to RI's driving mechanism from firms in developing countries through the DT perspective and the awareness of the complementary roles of multi-contexts.
Keywords: digital transformation; DT; reverse innovation; RI; multi-contexts; complementary roles.
Overseas R & D Investment and Enterprise Digital Transformation
by Min Xia, Qianqiang Li, Yang Yang, Yiang Yang
Abstract: Extant research focuses on the antecedents and outcomes of digital transformation in enterprises. This study intends to investigate the driving factors of digital transformation from an international perspective, explicating the relationship between enterprises' overseas R&D investments and digital transformation. Drawing on insights from the perspectives of social networks and resource-based views, we argue that overseas R&D investment can facilitate the digital transformation of enterprises. And this positive effect is strengthened as the enterprise is non-state-owned and conglomerate-affiliated and as its motivation is exploratory learning when it implements its overseas R&D investment. We employ the PSM-DID model and heterogeneity tests to investigate the impact and boundary conditions of overseas R&D investment on digital transformation, using data from Chinese listed enterprises across six manufacturing industries between 2010 and 2018. Our analysis finds supportive evidence. We discuss implications for the burgeoning literature on digital transformation and international business.
Keywords: overseas R&D investment; digital transformation; innovation; PSM-DID; investment motives.
Factor conditions and capability building of artificial intelligence empowered digital transformation in the banking sector: A case study of a Chinese bank
by Xin Su, Yanyu Wang
Abstract: Digital capabilities and financial technologies have gained increasing attention in recent years. However, the factor conditions and capability building are not clarified and there is no comprehensive competency model to summarise the theoretical findings and industrial practices. Herein, an in-depth single case study of the largest state-owned commercial bank in China was conducted to explore factor conditions and capability building of digital transformation in the banking sector using interviews and questionnaires. The findings identified three driving factors and four restraining factors of digital transformation, and a synergy-technology-agility-resource (STAR) business model was proposed subsequently to match these factor conditions. Furthermore, a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) approach was adopted to analyse factor configurations and further demonstrate the qualitative results. This study contributed to the field by summarising the factor conditions and business capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the banking industry, categorising the digital transformation processes into several configuration solutions, and providing a theoretical framework and practical guidance for academia and industry.
Keywords: artificial intelligence; AI; digital transformation; banking industry; factor conditions; business capabilities; fsQCA approach.
The moderating role of collaborative capacity in the relationship between ecological niche-fitness and innovation investment: An ecosystem perspective
by Yan Zhao, Luying Li, Niannian Qi, Tai Chiu Edwin Cheng, Tachia Chin
Abstract: The manufacturing supply chain in China has moved to a new form of innovation ecosystem with a novel characteristic of multi-agent collaboration. According to this new phenomenon, we integrate the ecological niche perspective with the theory of institutional economics to explore the impact mechanism among ecological niche-fitness, collaborative capacity and innovation investment in China's high-tech manufacturing sector. With panel data from 2011 to 2020, our results show a U-shaped nonlinear relationship between ecological niche-fitness and industry innovation scale, and a positive impact of ecological niche-fitness on innovation investment intensity. The economic development level has moderating effects on these relationships, and the association between ecological niche-fitness and innovation investment scale is moderated by collaborative capability. Theoretically, we enrich the innovation literature by incorporating ecological niche-fitness into the context of innovative ecosystem. We also provide important managerial implications for regional governments to regulate innovation ecosystems and promote industrial innovation.
Keywords: innovation ecosystem; ecological niche-fitness; collaborative capacity; industrial innovation investment.
Enterprise Niche and Digital Business Model Innovation enabling role of organisational routine updating
by Fei Zhou, Na Zhang, Chunjia Han
Abstract: An enterprise's innovation ability depends on its position and state in the innovation ecosystem, in which maintaining its niche heterogeneity and competitiveness is key to its survival and development. However, it is unclear how the enterprise's ecological niche in the innovation ecosystem affects digital business model innovation (BMI). Based on the context of the innovation ecosystem and the theory of routine dynamics, this study explores the impact of enterprise niche on digital BMI and possible moderating role of routine updating. Through an empirical analysis of 208 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing in China that are undergoing digital transformation, the findings show that enterprise niche width and a low level of overlap have not only positive independent but also significant positive interactive effects on digital BMI. Both routine amendment and creation positively moderate the relationship between low enterprise niche overlap and digital BMI, but their moderating effect on the relationship between niche width and digital BMI is not significant.
Keywords: enterprise niche; digital business model innovation; BMI; routine amendment; routine creation.