Management Review ›› 2021, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (5): 305-318.

• The Wu-li, Shi-li, Ren-li Approach (WSR): An Oriental Systems Methodology • Previous Articles    

The Differential Impact of Interactive and Non-interactive Knowledge Search on Ambidexterity Innovation of Enterprises: The Moderating Effect of Knowledge Distance

Ye Jiangfeng1, Chen Shan1, Hao Bin2   

  1. 1. School of Business, Anhui University, Hefei 230601;
    2. School of Business, East-China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237
  • Received:2020-02-29 Published:2021-06-03

Abstract: Interactive and non-interactive knowledge search are important strategies in firm's innovation practice, but the differentiated impact of these two strategies on ambidexterity innovation (i.e., radical innovation and incremental innovation) remains vague and unclassified, and the moderating effect of knowledge distance between enterprises on this relationship is rarely involved. This paper divides a firm's knowledge search into two types: interactive knowledge search and non-interactive knowledge search. Using a sample of 251 innovative enterprises in the Yangtze River Delta region, this study explores the differential impacts of two search strategies on ambidexterity innovation and the moderating effects of knowledge distance on the above relationships. The results indicate that interactive knowledge search is more conductive to radical innovation than non-interactive knowledge search, and non-interactive knowledge search is more beneficial to incremental innovation compared with interactive knowledge search. In addition, knowledge distance positively moderates the effects of interactive and non-interactive knowledge search on radical innovation, and negatively moderates the relationship between interactive knowledge search and incremental innovation, but the negative moderating effect of knowledge distance on the relationship between non-interactive knowledge search and incremental innovation is not significant. This study provides theoretical reference and practical guidance for enterprises to select appropriate external knowledge search strategies and search objects for achieving optimal innovation performance.

Key words: interactive knowledge search, non-interactive knowledge search, knowledge distance, radical innovation, incremental innovation