The effect of open innovation on process innovation in Iranian Food SMEs: The Moderating Effect of Learning Capability and Appropriation Capability

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Phd. Candidate in Corporate Entrepreneurship

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran


Innovation in firms’ processes makes some valuable achievements such as defining new plans, increasing productivity, reducing costs and even developing new products. But firms do not always have the required resources to do so. Therefore, they can learn new ways of innovation and achieve innovative outcomes by utilizing the knowledge and technologies outside their boundaries or making formal and informal collaborations with others. Of course, opening the frontiers of organizational innovation is always accompanied by the fear of losing knowledge and assets or the lack of maximum utilization of the achievements. So, the purpose of this study was to study the relationship between open innovation and process innovation in Iranian Food SMEs in year 1399 with regard to the moderating role of learning and appropriation capabilities. Based on the previous literature, we distributed a researcher-made questionnaire and addressed Iranian small and medium-sized food companies. Structural equation modeling using partial least squares method (in Smart PLS 3.01 software) was used to analyze the data. The findings showed that there was a significant positive relationship between cooperation with external partners and incremental and fundamental process innovation. The positive relationship between knowledge and technology acquisition and the incremental and fundamental process innovation was also confirmed. However, learning capability moderates the relationship between external collaboration and process innovation (both incremental and fundamental), and the appropriation capability also moderates the relationship between external collaboration and fundamental process innovation.


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