Standardization Efforts: The Relationship between Knowledge Dimensions, Search Processes and Innovation Outcomes

Technovation, 48, pp. 69-78, 2016

32 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2017

See all articles by Zongjie Xie

Zongjie Xie

Chongqing University

Jeremy Hall

University of Nottingham

Ian P. McCarthy

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business

Martin Skitmore

Queensland University of Technology

Liyin Shen

Chongqing University

Date Written: September 24, 2016

Abstract

We explore how a standardization effort (i.e., when a firm pursues standards to further innovation) involves different search processes for knowledge and innovation outcomes. Using an inductive case study of Vanke, a leading Chinese property developer, we show how varying degrees of knowledge complexity and codification combine to produce a typology of four types of search process: active, integrative, decentralized and passive, resulting in four types of innovation outcome: modular, radical, incremental and architectural. We argue that when the standardization effort in a firm involves highly codified knowledge, incremental and architectural innovation outcomes are fostered, while modular and radical innovations are hindered. We discuss how standardization efforts can result in a second-order innovation capability, and conclude by calling for comparative research in other settings to understand how standardization efforts can be suited to different types of search process in different industry contexts.

Keywords: standardization effort, search process, innovation, knowledge, construction industry, Vanke, China

JEL Classification: A1, D2, L00, L2, M00, M1, M2, 03, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, Q55

Suggested Citation

Xie, Zongjie and Hall, Jeremy and McCarthy, Ian P. and Skitmore, Martin and Shen, Liyin, Standardization Efforts: The Relationship between Knowledge Dimensions, Search Processes and Innovation Outcomes (September 24, 2016). Technovation, 48, pp. 69-78, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2957704

Zongjie Xie

Chongqing University ( email )

Shazheng Str 174, Shapingba District
Chongqing 400044, Chongqing 400030
China

Jeremy Hall

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Ian P. McCarthy (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Martin Skitmore

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Liyin Shen

Chongqing University ( email )

Shazheng Str 174, Shapingba District
Chongqing 400044, Chongqing 400030
China

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