Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Moore School of Business

Sub-Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Manoj Malhotra

Abstract

Extant literature across various research disciplines has investigated the influence of a firm’s technological innovation on its performance. However, the findings on this relationship remain inconclusive as it is subject to many strategic and environmental factors. In this dissertation, the relationship between a firm’s technological innovation and performance is evaluated. Additionally, this relationship is examined in the presence of various contextual factors.

In the first study, meta-analysis is utilized to quantitatively aggregate existing empirical research in this domain. Cultural and institutional aspects of the nation in which the firm operates are examined for their potential in explaining variability within the technology innovation-performance relationship. Results indicate that better performance outcomes are observed when innovation occurs in those nations that have lower inclination to avoid uncertainty and/or collectivistic attitudes. Counter-intuitively, performance suffers when innovation occurs in nations with stronger patent protection framework.

It has been increasingly demonstrated that research and development related innovation-knowledge spillovers can impact the performance of both the innovative firm as well as its competitor/s. In the second study, a contribution to the spillover literature is made by exploring spillovers of operational knowledge, referred to as operational spillovers. Specifically, spillovers related to inventory, sourcing lead time, and volume flexibility are examined. The results suggest that operational spillovers only help firms that need additional operational knowledge resources. A novel and counterintuitive finding is that the financial performance of all other firms is negatively impacted by learning via operational spillovers. These results suggest that operational spillovers should be sought only in specific circumstances, and otherwise avoided.

In the third and final study, the financial implications of operational spillovers from the industry leaders and laggards are examined within the context of the environment in which the firm operates. A firm’s external operating environment largely determines the degree of uncertainty confronted in its day-to-day operations. Specifically, munificence, dynamism and complexity are examined as distinct components of environmental uncertainty. The final study answers how these dimensions of industry-level environmental uncertainty enable or prohibit the successful exploitation of operational spillovers.

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