Collaborative Technology Strategies and Innovation in Family Firms
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 17(1): 8-27, 2013
23 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 2013
Given the fundamental importance of innovation capabilities for firms’ competitiveness worldwide, in this paper we contribute to filling the research gap in the literature on the innovation processes carried out by family firms, focusing in particular on product innovation strategies. We first assess whether family firms, compared with non-family firms, are more likely to engage in explorative or exploitative innovation strategies; then, we focus on the way family firms manage their access to technology (technology sourcing) to pursue product innovation strategies, evaluating: (1) the extent to which family firms activate external networking strategies to carry out product/service innovation; and (2) which kind of networking strategy, exploration- or exploitation-oriented, is more likely to be implemented by family firms. Our results suggest that family firms, compared with non-family firms, rely more on exploration-oriented alliances; the technology sourcing strategy tends to shift towards exploitation goals as organizational knowledge codification and formalization take place.
Keywords: family firms, SMEs, innovation, exploration, exploitation, external technology sourcing
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