Strategic Capabilities and Radical Innovation: An Empirical Study in Three Countries
IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Vol. 55, No. 3, pp. 420-433, August 2008
14 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2012 Last revised: 7 Jun 2016
Date Written: 2008
This paper examines strategic capabilities as drivers of the development and launch of radical innovations. We construct a theoretical framework relating five strategic capabilities (marketing, market linking, technology, information technology, and management-related capabilities) to radical innovation. From this framework, we derive hypotheses concerning a division's propensity to engage in radical innovation. Using empirical data derived from a research study of 376 firms in the United States, Japan, and China, we apply analysis of variance and negative binomial distribution (NBD) regression techniques to test our hypotheses. We find evidence that, overall, technology and information technology capabilities are significantly and positively related to radical product innovation. We also find some significant differences among the three country samples concerning drivers of radical innovation. Marketing capability is more significantly and positively related to radical innovation in the United States than in Japan; and, in China, the only capability that is significantly and positively related to radical innovation is technology. All of the findings completely or partially support our research hypotheses. We conclude with a discussion of the managerial implications of our findings, and directions for future research.
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