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The Relationships of Slack Resources, Resource Bricolage, Product Diversification and Innovation: The Moderating Effect of Absorptive Capacity
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The issue of innovation has been widely discussed in all fields. In the fast-changing industry environment, innovation is particularly related to firm's survival. The outcomes of pursuing innovations and firm growth strategy are both not realizable in a short term. Therefore, learning how to utilize resources effectively in order to pursue innovation becomes an increasingly important topic for firms.
The organizational slack resources within the organizations not only provide the resource organization to develop high-risk innovations, but also enable organization to develop diversification strategy. Base on resource base view (RBV), we take organizational slack, the major source for firms to acquire and utilize their resources, as the antecedent of product diversification and innovation. We assume that organizational slack resources influence the related and unrelated product diversification and thus affect innovation. This study also integrates resource bricolage, the ability to recombine resources at hand for new purpose, into research framework as the antecedent of innovation. Additionally, absorptive capacity is included as a moderator in the research for the reason that it may promote innovation when organization with slack resources and resource bricolage. In short, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships among organizational slack, product diversification and innovation, and also examine the moderating effect of absorptive capacity.
The samples of this research are supervisors of product department or marketing department in Taiwanese manufacturing firms. A total of 1400 questionnaires are sent and 131 valid questionnaires were received. It represents a response rate of 9.36%.
Empirical results indicate that absorbed slack negatively influences product diversification and related product diversification; while unabsorbed slack positively influences product diversification and related product diversification. Besides, results show that resource bricolage have positive effect on innovation but the overall slack have no significant impact on innovation. The study also examines two types of organizational slack on their effect to innovation. Results imply that absorbed slack has an inverted U-shaped relationship with innovation; and unabsorbed slack exist a U-shaped relationship. It was found that the product diversification have a positive effect on innovation. However, the hypotheses are not supported under the categories of related/unrelated product diversification. Finally, the moderate effects of absorptive capacitive are insignificant in the relationships between product diversification and innovation, and he moderate effects of absorptive capacitive are insignificant between the relationships between resource bricolage and innovation.
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