This study proposes and tests a theoretical framework that relates a firm’s imitation strategy and its interaction with R&D resources to incremental and radical innovation. The analysis of a panel dataset of 1381 Chinese manufacturing firms in the period 2008–2014 shows that imitation strategy is positively related to incremental innovation but has an inverted U-shaped relationship with radical innovation. More interestingly, R&D resources serve as a critical boundary condition of the imitation strategy — innovation link — they strengthen the link between imitation strategy and incremental innovation but weaken the link between imitation strategy and radical innovation.
Harrigan, Kathryn, J. Wu, S.H. Ang, and Z. Wu. "The Impact of Imitation Strategy and R&D Resources on Incremental and Radical Innovation: Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing Firms." Journal of Technology Transfer 44, no. 1 (February 2019): 210-230.
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