Firms can acquire competitive advantages by external learning. However, several interesting issues remain unresolved.
First, existing studies validate the pivotal roles of incremental and radical innovations for firm performance (Zhou et al. 2005), and recent research suggests that the performance impact of radical innovations is more profound than that of incremental innovations, especially in fast-changing economies (Gatignon et al., 2002). However, few studies test their differential impacts. It is because radical innovations are harder to develop than incremental innovations, the debate regarding their relative strengths on firm performance is a critical issue for both researchers and managers.
Second, technological and administrative learning may influence firm innovation differently. External learning provides a potential source of both incremental and radical innovations (Lane et al. 2006), but some studies suggest that different types of learning exhibit varying influential characteristics (Ingram and Baum, 1997). The potentially different performance implications suggest the need to explore the impacts of technological and administrative learning.
Third, organizational learning theorists argue that to achieve a competitive advantage, firms must possess the ability to exploit external knowledge and internalize what they have learned (Lane et al., 2006). Current studies suggest that both knowledge base and commitment to absorb contribute to innovation adoptions (Van den Bosch et al., 1999). Yet limited evidence has been generated to demonstrate how they interact with learning styles to affect innovations differently.
The issue of how firms can learn effectively from others to develop innovations is particularly relevant in a highly-competitive economies. Characterized by dramatic changes in their social, legal, and economic institutions, such economies represent an attractive study context because they challenge many of the assumptions that underlie theories generated in well-developed countries (Meyer, 2007). This study therefore examines the role of external organizational learning for firm innovation in ICT Industry in Hong Kong.
|Keywords:||Organizational Learning, Technological Learning, Administrative Learning, Knowledge Base, Commitment to Absorb, Firm Innovation, Firm Performance|
Business Manager, Information Technology, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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