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International Journal of Technology Management

International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM)

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International Journal of Technology Management (31 papers in press)

Special Issue on: Intangible Assets and Innovation Management

  •   Free full-text access Open AccessThe role of pre-formation intangible assets in the endowment of science-based university spin-offs
    ( Free Full-text Access ) CC-BY-NC-ND
    by Andrew Park, Azadeh Goudarzi, Pegah Yaghmaie, Varkey Jon Thomas, Elicia Maine 
    Abstract: Science-based university spin-offs face considerable technology and market uncertainty over extended periods of time, increasing the challenges of commercialisation. Scientist-entrepreneurs can play formative roles in commercialising 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 entrepreneurial capabilities of academic scientists can endow science-based university spin-offs by leveraging the scientists' pre-formation intangible assets. A theory-driven model depicting the role of pre-formation intangible assets and entrepreneurial capabilities in endowing science-based university spin-offs is developed. Recommendations are provided for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to more effectively commercialise 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; firm performance; pre-formation; biotechnology; science-based ventures; international networks; innovation policy; academic entrepreneurship; science innovation; innovation ecosystems.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2022.10054449
  •   Free full-text access Open AccessResearching together in academic engagement in engineering: a study of dual affiliated graduate students in Sweden
    ( Free Full-text Access ) CC-BY-NC-ND
    by Karin Berg, Maureen McKelvey 
    Abstract: This article explores dual affiliated graduate students that conduct research involving both universities and firms, which we conceptualise as a form of academic engagement, e.g., knowledge networks. We explore what they do during their studies, and their perceptions about their contributions to the firm's 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 organise 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 that they primarily engage in problem-solving activities in technology, which augment particularly the early stages of absorptive capacities in firms.
    Keywords: intangible assets; dual affiliated PhD students; academic engagement; engineering; university-industry interactions; collaborative research; boundary spanner; absorptive capacity; technology; innovation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10055000
  • The relationship between 'creative slack' as an intangible asset and the innovative capabilities of the firm   Order a copy of this article
    by Patrick Cohendet, Olivier Dupouët, Raouf Naggar, Romain Rampa, Laurent Simon 
    Abstract: The notion of creative slack purposefully refers to the notion of organisational slack proposed by Penrose (1959), who suggested that managers in organisations 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. In this contribution, we aim at adding a new dimension to the notion of organisational slack. Our view is that in many innovative organisations the slack of unused ideas is essentially a creative one, which is accumulated in diverse communities through multiple projects. This creative slack is a key intangible asset and a source of knowledge creation and innovation. To explain how organisations may benefit from exploiting the creative slack accumulated by communities, we rely on the analysis of two case studies, that of the Hydro-Québec Research Institute (IREQ), and of Ubisoft Montreal.
    Keywords: creative slack; communities; turbulent environment; formal organisation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2024.10064071
  • Knowing thy neighbour: creating and capturing value from a firm's alliance experiences   Order a copy of this article
    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 firm's innovation process. The concepts of value-creating alliance experiences (VCAE) and value capturing alliance experiences (VCPAE) were introduced in which a firm's ability to learn from these alliance experiences increases the firm's ability to discover and govern partnerships that bring the firm's innovations to market. Hypotheses were developed and empirically examined in the biotechnology industry. A contribution of this study is that a firm's VCAE and VCPAE introduce a greater 'openness' to a firm's innovation process. This openness enables a firm to better adapt and respond to the opportunities of the market and thus impact a firm's competitive advantage to innovate.
    Keywords: relational intellectual assets; alliance management capability; AMC; innovation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2024.10064072
  • Intangible assets and the productivity slowdown   Order a copy of this article
    by Cristiano Antonelli, Guido Pialli 
    Abstract: Over recent decades, advanced economies have been characterised 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 capitalisation practices. Capitalisation of intangible assets is justified by the limited exhaustibility of knowledge, which implies its slow obsolescence, and hence, having the potential of being capitalised to reflect its prolonged period of contribution to productivity. However, the capitalisation 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 capitalisation 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; TFP; intangible capital; productivity slowdown; technology production function; output elasticity of knowledge.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2024.10064073

Regular Issues

  • (How) does digital transformation promote boundary-spanning strategies? Evidence from Chinese firms unrelated diversification   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10057794
  • Does the techno-nationalism approach work for the nation’s catch-up? - The evaluation of MLP (2006-2020) in China   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10058057
  • Development and application of patent management maturity model: a capability-based perspective   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10059236
  • Generational Technological Change, Organizational Search, and Firm Product Innovation Performance in New Generational Markets   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10060192
  • The mediating effect of business process digitization on organizational unlearning and the firms' innovation quality: Evidence from China   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10060835
  • Digitalisation and Complementary Integration: A Case Study of a Chinese Real Estate Company   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10060836
  • Configurations for corporate digital innovation: Investigating the roles of technology, organisation and environment   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10060837
  • How Do Director Networks Improve Digital Innovation in China? An Explanation Grounded in Knowledge-based View   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10060850
  • Innovation at the project level: The role of organizational innovation capabilities   Order a copy of this article
    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   Order a copy of this article
    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.

  • R&D Area Diversity and Innovation Quality: A Cross-functional Absorptive Capacity Perspective   Order a copy of this article
    by Tianyu Hou, Wei Wang, Jin Chen, Haijie Wang 
    Abstract: Although many studies have investigated how the diversity of R&D human capital influences innovation performance, the impact of the diversity of functional areas in R&D centres remains poorly understood. Drawing on the absorptive capacity framework, this study examines how R&D area diversity influences innovation quality. As R&D activities are embedded in organisational social networks and knowledge networks, we further investigate how social cohesion, knowledge cohesion, and social-knowledge cohesion moderate the effect of R&D area diversity on innovation quality. We argue that R&D area diversity improves intra-organisational cross-function absorptive capacity, which enhances innovation quality. The positive effect of R&D area diversity increases when social cohesion and knowledge cohesion are high, and the coupling of social-knowledge cohesion is low. An analysis of a large longitudinal dataset of 3,061 firm-year observations covering 486 global pharmaceutical firms provides strong support for our hypotheses. We end with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications.
    Keywords: innovation quality; R&D area diversity; social cohesion; knowledge cohesion; social-knowledge cohesion; absorptive capacity; pharmaceutical firms; patents; Poisson estimation; panel regressions.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10062974
  • Analysis on the influence of innovation factors on the digital transformation of Chinese manufacturing enterprises: Empirical evidence from A-share listed companies in manufacturing industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Jianhua Dai, Shuanglei Xu 
    Abstract: In the era of digital economy, the digital transformation of enterprises has become a new power to improve the competitive advantage of enterprises and a new engine for the high-quality development of China's economy. From the perspective of innovation factors, this paper empirically tests the impact of innovation factors on Digital transformation of Chinese manufacturing enterprises based on the micro data of A-share listed companies in China's manufacturing industry. The results show that the number of R&D personnel, R&D investment and executive education has a positive impact on enterprises' digital transformation, and this impact is heterogeneous in different industries and regions. Therefore, enterprises and the state need to increase investment in human capital and research and development, clarify regional competitive advantages, and optimise regional industrial layout.
    Keywords: innovation; manufacture; enterprise; digital transformation; influence.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10064013
  • The Impact of Employees' Digital Growth Mindset on Digital Transformation Engagement   Order a copy of this article
    by Yaxin Zhao, Qinxian Liu, Taro Kamioka 
    Abstract: Rapidly developing digital technologies affect private companies' digital transformation (DT). However, most companies have not made much progress in DT as they initially expected. While it is claimed that employees' mindset is critical in promoting DT, there is a paucity of empirical research documenting how their mindset is related to progress in DT. This study presents a new concept of the digital growth mindset, which is the belief that digital technology can improve people's abilities. Employees with this mindset embrace new technologies proactively, which enhances their agility in changing environments, increasing their engagement in DT. A questionnaire survey conducted in Japan showed that digital growth mindset positively affects employees' DT engagement and digital agility.
    Keywords: digital growth mindset; DGM; digital mindset; growth mindset; digital transformation engagement; DTE; employee digital agility; EDA; digital transformation; DT.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10064347

Special Issue on: Innovation Ecosystems for the Green Industry in Emerging Economies Construction, Governance, and Evolution

  • Promoting green innovations for SMEs in emerging economies: exploring the role of value supporters in innovation ecosystems   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10056229
  • Technology transfers to whom and why? TERGM analysis across regional green technology transfer network in China   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10056152
  • Spatial evolution and driving force of green technological innovation in China: the perspective of innovation ecosystem   Order a copy of this article
    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 2009-2019. 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. Moran's 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 China's green innovation ecosystem is insufficient.
    Keywords: green innovation output; innovation ecosystem; Moran's index; spatial evolution; technological development.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10055988
  • The impact of CSR disclosure and the roles of actors in the innovation ecosystem on firms' green innovation performance   Order a copy of this article
    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 policymakers and managers with a different mentality when formulating regulations and innovation strategies.
    Keywords: CSR disclosure; innovation ecosystem; green practices; green innovation performance.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10055948
  • How complementors deal with complement challenges: a comparative study of ports in the wind energy ecosystem   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10057015
  • Green technology innovation ecosystem design under the carbon neutrality target: evidence from a multiple case study in China   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10057200
  • Use cross-border M&As to build innovation ecosystems: ESG practices, governmental control, and EMNEs' green technological innovation   Order a copy of this article
    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 2009-2015, 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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10056230

Special Issue on: Digital Transformation and Innovation in Emerging Economies

  • Double-edged sword?The influence of digital technology adoption diversity on knowledge sharing   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10058101
  • Effect of the Digital Transformation of Firms in a Developing Country on their Reverse Innovation: The Complementary Roles of Multi-Contexts   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10056266
  • Overseas R & D Investment and Enterprise Digital Transformation   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10059289
  • Factor conditions and capability building of artificial intelligence empowered digital transformation in the banking sector: A case study of a Chinese bank   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10059716
  • The moderating role of collaborative capacity in the relationship between ecological niche-fitness and innovation investment: An ecosystem perspective   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10059963
  • Enterprise Niche and Digital Business Model Innovation enabling role of organisational routine updating   Order a copy of this article
    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.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.10059971