The effect of external knowledge search on innovation performance: the moderating effect of knowledge protection and environment uncertainty

외부지식탐색이 기업의 혁신 성과에 미치는 영향: 지식 보호와 환경 불확실성의 조절효과를 중심으로

  • Published : 2016.09.30


External knowledge search is critical to expand the firm's knowledge base, increasing the innovation performance. However, prior literature has paid less scholarly attention on the boundary condition of the search activity. In particular, the few literatures on the contingency factors are either conceptual or focus on the firm characteristics such as resources and capability. In this regard, this study argues the negative moderating effect of knowledge protection and environmental uncertainty of a firm on the positive relationship between external knowledge search and innovation performance, because these contingency factors hamper the reciprocity and the mutual trust between the firm and its external partner that provides knowledge needed in the innovation process. The empirical analysis is based on the sample drawn from Korean Innovation Survey, provided by STEPI in Korea. The sample consists of 1,637 respondent firms that experienced product innovation during the survey period. We could find statistically supporting results for the negative moderating effect on the positive relationship between external knowledge search and innovation performance. This study extends the academic debate on the boundary conditions of external knowledge search and provides managerial implications for successful product innovation.


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