Types of embedded ties in buyer-supplier relationships and their combined effects on innovation performance
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Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 31(2) : 152-163 (2016)
[EN] Purpose of the paper - This research analyzes the impact of three types of embedded ties, namely, specialized complementary resources, idiosyncratic investments, and knowledge sharing, on the innovation capacity of the firms. We also study the particularities of the Machine-Tool industry. Theoretical background – Our evaluation of the embedded buyer-supplier ties is based on the potential sources of relational rents proposed by Dyer and Sing (1998). We also draw on Uzzi and Lancaster (2003), Noordhoff et al. (2011), among others, to discuss the positive and negative aspects of embedded ties. Design/Methodology/Approach ‐ Using data from a survey of 202 European machine-tool firms acting as buyers and sellers, we propose and evaluate a Structural Equation model. Findings ‐ Only knowledge-sharing routines exert a significant positive effect on product innovation performance. Neither an increase in the idiosyncratic investments nor in complementary resources and capabilities enhance innovation performance. Also, knowledge-sharing routines mediate in the effect from idiosyncratic investments on innovation performance. Research Limitations. ‐ The machine tool industry has unique characteristics that make this generalization difficult. Also, there is considerable difficulty associated with testing more deeply the interrelations among these embedded ties in the long run. It is plausible to understand that these interrelations operate within a gradual process. Originality/Value/Contribution of Paper ‐ This research contributes to a better understanding of the role of embedded ties on innovativeness. To the best of our knowledge, there is no previous international empirical research analyzing the mediation effects among specialized complementary resources, idiosyncratic investments and knowledge sharing, and their effects on the innovation capacity of firms.