External knowledge sourcing and innovation performance: the role of managerial practices

Ana García Granero, Jaider Vega-Jurado
In this paper, we argue that the ability of a firm to transform external knowledge into commercial success goes beyond the firms’ technological capabilities. Thus, we underscore the role played by managerial practices (related with knowledge sharing, formalization and incentives) in the leveraging and utilization of external knowledge. We further consider that the effectiveness of external knowledge exploitation can be contingent on the types of external sources (scientific and industrial partners) and on the degree of novelty in innovations (imitative and new-to-the-market innovations). The research draws on survey data from the Spanish Ceramic Tile Industry and the main results suggest that firms adopting knowledge sharing mechanisms are more likely to attain better results in exploiting external scientific knowledge. On the contrary, formalization-based mechanisms tend to exert a detrimental effect on the exploitation of external scientific knowledge. Knowledge incentives are non significant in the case of scientific agents and negative for industrial agents.