Competitor Intelligence and Product Innovation:The Role of Open-Mindedness and Inter-Functional Coordination

Lin, Fenfang and Evans, Richard and Kharel, Rupak and Williams, Richard (2022) Competitor Intelligence and Product Innovation:The Role of Open-Mindedness and Inter-Functional Coordination. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 69 (2). pp. 314-328. ISSN 0018-9391

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Drawing on the central theme of open innovation and the inbound flow of knowledge for improving a firm’s innovation performance, this research investigates the application of external knowledge (i.e., competitor intelligence) in product innovation through the mediators of inter-functional coordination and open-mindedness. We examine the joint moderating effect of environmental uncertainty on results obtained from survey data involving 284 executives from Chinese IT SMEs. Our results reveal that competitor intelligence has a positive and direct effect on product innovation, and that relationships can be further strengthened by inter-functional coordination and open-mindedness. In testing their interaction with dynamic external environments, we found that the level of environmental uncertainty interacts positively with open-mindedness, but negatively with the effect of inter-functional coordination on product innovation. We conclude that by building openly-innovative and knowledge sharing culture, SME managers can improve their product innovation performance by obtaining and processing external knowledge relating to competitors. This study contributes to the open innovation literature, advancing understanding of the inflow of external knowledge for innovative output and, more importantly, sheds light on the research of open innovation practices in SMEs from emerging economies.

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IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
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24 Sep 2019 12:25
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22 Nov 2022 08:06