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The Influence of Spatial Search on Innovation Performance of Cluster Firm:the Moderating Effect of Absorptive Capability

Author: ZhengHuaLiang
Tutor: ZuoAiQi
School: Zhejiang University
Course: Entrepreneurial Management
Keywords: cluster spatial search breadth depth innovation performance absorptivecapacity
CLC: F273.1
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 97
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Abstract


Cluster firms are very important forms of regional economic in China. However, most of them lack the capability of innovation. Open Innovation Theory believe that knowledge can improve the innovation capability of firm. the innovation capability of firm is influenced by both the existing knowledge in the firm and knowledge from environment. On the condition of limited knowledge in the cluster firm in China, the search for the knowledge outside the firm is an important method to improve the innovation capability of cluster firm. At the same time, the difference of innovation performance among the cluster firms raised the attention of researchers and some of them believe that the difference of search strategy is the one reason of the difference of innovation performance of cluster firm. For the cluster firm, the knowledge outside the firm can be divided into local knowledge and distant knowledge. There is a fierce debate about which knowledge cluster firm should focus. The researchers support their standpoints from different perspectives; however, they have not analyzed the influence of local knowledge and distant knowledge on innovation performance of cluster firm at the same time.Hence, in this paper we use innovation search theory to analyze the impact of these two knowledge on the innovation performance of cluster firm. Breadth and depth of search represent the openness of firm and they have the different effect to the innovation performance of cluster firm. Hence, the influence of innovation search on innovation of cluster firm can be better understood with breadth and depth of search. However, only search the knowledge is not enough for cluster firms, they still need the absorptive capacity to transfer these knowledge to innovation performance. Little attention is paid to the role of absorptive capacity between the knowledge and innovation of firm in the early researches. But the heterogeneity of absorptive capacity of cluster firm is the reason of debate about the focus between local knowledge and distant knowledge. In this paper we try to use knowledge-based theory, cluster innovation theory and innovation search theory to explain the reason why there is difference of innovation performance among the cluster firms and analyze the influence of local knowledge and distant knowledge on innovation perfomance of cluster firm.In this paper, we reorganize the research about knowledge based theory of firm and cluster innovation theory, systematically analyze the knowledge characteristics and functional characteristics of local knowledge and distant knowledge. We also innovatively combine the depth and breadth of search with the spatial search; analyze the influence of local search breath, local search depth, distant search breath and distant search depth on innovation performance of cluster firm and the moderating effect of absorptive capacity.Based on the analysis of the data of115enterprises in the textile cluster and software cluster in Zhejiang province, we find local search breadth is curvilinearly (taking an inverted U-shape) related to innovative performance of cluster firm and local search depth is curvilinearly (taking an inverted U-shape) related to the innovative performance of cluster firm while distant search breadth is not significantly related to the innovative performance of cluster firm and distant search depth is not significantly related to the innovative performance of cluster firm. However, absorptive capacity doesn’t have the moderating effect on the relationship between local search breadth and the innovative performance of cluster firm and the relationship between local search depth and the innovative performance of cluster firm. Under the condition of high absorptive capacity, distant search breath is positively related with the innovative performance of cluster firm and distant search depth is positively related with the innovative performance of cluster firm.

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