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Scholars in a variety of disciplines, including organizational theory, strategic management, and economics, have devoted substantial attention to the question: why are some firms more innovative than others? It has been largely accepted that when the knowledge base of an industry is both complex and expanding and the sources of expertise are widely dispersed, the locus of innovation will be found in networks of inter-organizational collaborations than individual firms. Strategy researchers have recently begun to explore how inter-firm networking affects organizational innovation performance, and reported intriguing yet conflicting findings. Drawing perspectives from strategic alliance, social networks, and technology innovation, I proposed an integrative framework to investigate the combined effects of a firms network centrality and structural hole on organizational innovation performance. Furthermore, I examine the innovation performance both in terms of innovation rate and innovation value.
I conducted a longitudinal study on a population of firms from 1990 to 1999 in pharmaceutical industry (SIC 2834). The results of the study indicate that: 1) Network centrality helps a firm to increase its rate of innovation, and structural hole helps to improve its value of innovation, while both effects are non-linear. 2) Network centrality positively moderates the relationship between structural hole and innovation value. 3) Structural hole negatively moderates the effect of network centrality on innovation rate. The joint effects suggest that firms with advantageous network positions are more capable of making wise technology selections and focusing their efforts on innovations of greater value.
Date22 May 2006
CreatorsYao, Beiqing
ContributorsSusan McEvily, Wenpin Tsai, David Krackhardt, John Prescott, Ravi Madhavan
PublisherUniversity of Pittsburgh
Source SetsUniversity of Pittsburgh
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rightsunrestricted, I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to University of Pittsburgh or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.

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