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Managing innovation in a globalized digital economy: An empirical inquiry into managerial-, governance-, and firm-level antecedents and contingencies

DOI zum Zitieren der Version auf EPub Bayreuth:
URN to cite this document: urn:nbn:de:bvb:703-epub-6830-2

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Heubeck, Tim:
Managing innovation in a globalized digital economy: An empirical inquiry into managerial-, governance-, and firm-level antecedents and contingencies.
Bayreuth , 2023 . - XX, 186 P.
( Doctoral thesis, 2023 , University of Bayreuth, Faculty of Law, Business and Economics)

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As a source of superior performance, innovation has always been a central factor in developing and sustaining competitive advantage; however, sustained efforts that facilitate innovation are even more pivotal for organizational survival in the current hypercompetitive environment. The growing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the globalized digital economy continue exacerbating the inherently risky and long-term nature of research and development (R&D) investments, placing managers under mounting internal and external pressures to make timely, yet profound, decisions on innovation investments. Promoting high levels of innovation by identifying, creating, realizing, and maintaining unexplored and unexploited commercial opportunities has turned into the single most daunting, but integral, managerial challenge facing firms today. Scholars have proposed and tested the mechanisms through which dynamic capabilities (DCs) shape the organizational ability to translate valuable, rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable resources into competitive advantage. Nevertheless, the inherent firm-level focus of the DC view neglects how a firm’s ability to sense, seize, and reconfigure organizational resources for strategic change may also originate with the DCs of individual managers. Organizational theorists have long ignored the pivotal influence of individual-level managerial capabilities on organizational adaptation; the limitations of the dominant firm-level perspective on organizational change have sparked a growing interest in the individual-level antecedents to strategic adaptation. According to the micro-level perspective of dynamic managerial capability (DMC), managers are pivotal in shaping organizational strategies due to their responsibility for orchestrating a firm’s asset portfolio. Consequently, DMCs at the individual level may represent central drivers of innovation. The key role of top-level managers in determining organizational outcomes, such as innovation strategies, is consistent with upper echelons theory (UET). Accordingly, top managers are tasked with making complex strategic decisions based on ambiguous information under the assumption of bounded rationality. Organizational strategies are, therefore, the result of executive decision-making that originates from the personal characteristics of top managers. Although scholars have conceptually recognized the importance of individual-level capabilities in developing competitive advantage, the literature lacks a holistic understanding of the mechanisms DMCs use to directly and indirectly shape firms’ innovativeness. Therefore, the first research goal of this thesis is to gain empirical insights into the individual-level interactions between the three DMC subcomponents—managerial human capital, social capital, and cognition. The thesis subsequently draws on the findings related to the individual-level DMC interactions to empirically test the direct relationship between DMCs and innovation. Besides substantial managerial capabilities, the innovation process also requires sufficient resources. Research has demonstrated that managers must have access to, and discretion over, sufficient resources to develop, initiate, and execute innovation strategies at the opportune moment. High-tech firms, in particular, have accumulated substantial excess financial resources that managers can redeploy toward risky investments, such as innovation. Accordingly, the third research goal is concerned with examining slack resources as firm-level antecedents to innovation in the highly dynamic and competitive environment of high-tech industries. To answer this research question, this thesis draws on a contingency perspective to conceptualize the underlying motives of managers that inform their decisions about how to deploy slack resources. The existing literature proposes organizational slack as a double-edged sword: some slack is integral for inducing creativity, while excessive slack may cause extensive inefficiencies. Thus, the relationship between slack resources and innovation will likely follow an inverted U-shaped progression in high-tech industries. Subsequently, this thesis argues that governance-level factors shape the strength of the slack–innovation relationship, which is rooted in the overarching research goal of offering a holistic account of firm-level innovation behavior. The theoretical argument adopts a contingency perspective on this relationship, grounded in the seemingly conflicting, yet complementary, perspectives of agency and organizational theories. Therefore, the research model proposes that the nature of the organizational slack–innovation relationship in high-tech industries is shaped by the structural and demographic characteristics of the board, determining the efficacy of corporate governance. This thesis will finally test the relationship between DMCs and R&D spending in a sample of NASDAQ 100 firms to gain insights into all three fundamental analysis levels prevalent within management literature. For this purpose, based on an initial analysis of the DMC–innovation relationship, the thesis will propose CEO founder status as a managerial-level moderator of this relationship. This argumentation is grounded in the notion that founder CEOs differ from professional CEOs in their time horizon, commitment, and motivation underlying their innovation investment decisions. Strategic management theories have incorporated the micro-level origins of innovation from their beginning, albeit mostly implicitly. The piecemeal approach by which the antecedents of firm-level strategies are conceptualized has led to a pervasive disregard for individual-level capabilities in empirical research. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the present thesis is to bring together the three fundamental levels of strategic management—the managerial, governance, and firm levels—by developing comprehensive models of managerial decision-making within the unique context of innovation. A multi-theoretic approach is employed for this purpose. The complementary perspectives of DMC theory and UET are combined to propose that the specific DMCs of chief executive officers (CEOs)—so-called dynamic CEO capabilities (DCCs)—may be the central drivers of innovation due to the pivotal role of CEOs in designing, implementing, and transforming organizational strategies. The DCC concept proposes that CEOs’ individual-level DMCs are conduits for firm-level innovation. This thesis will then expand the research model by proposing managerial-, governance-, and firm-level contingency factors of the DCC–innovation relationship. Altogether, the present thesis contributes to management literature by developing and testing multi-level models of the determinants of firms’ innovativeness. Thus, besides contriving a holistic model of the determinants of firm-level innovation, this thesis will also explicitly take into account the transformed decision-making context of the current hypercompetitive economy in analyzing these relationships. The thesis is structured as follows. Chapter 1 outlines the overarching research motivation by developing four interrelated research questions and summarizing the main research propositions of five research papers. Chapter 2 delves into strategic and innovation management theories relevant to the thesis. Chapters 3 to 8 present the individual research papers according to their level of analysis. More specifically, Research Paper 1 in Chapter 3 investigates the DMC subcomponent interactions in the context of digitalization-driven Industry 4.0 firms. Chapter 4, which includes Research Paper 2, proposes that individual-level DMCs and their subcomponents are direct antecedents of firm-level innovation in digital industries. Research Paper 3 in Chapter 5 expands the analysis to the governance level. The paper hypothesizes that board composition moderates the inverted U-shaped organizational slack–innovation relationship in high-tech firms. Research Paper 4 in Chapter 6 integrates the managerial, governance, and firm levels. This paper proposes that individual-level DCCs are critical drivers of firm-level innovation, and that this relationship is moderated by CEO power as a governance-level contingency. Subsequently, Research Paper 5 in Chapter 7 builds on the resource orchestration framework to hypothesize that individual-level DCCs may facilitate firm-level innovation by determining slack resource orchestration. Therefore, this paper adopts a holistic and multidimensional perspective on the relationships between DCCs, the orchestration and deployment of different slack types, and innovation. The sixth and final research paper in Chapter 8 assesses the significance of DMCs in the specific context of today’s hypercompetitive economy. The study draws on data from NASDAQ 100 firms to holistically analyze the significance of DMCs and their subcomponents for firm-level innovation strategies. Further, the paper proposes CEO founder status as a managerial-level moderator of the DMC–innovation relationship, because founder CEOs differ from professional CEOs in their investment behavior. The thesis concludes in Chapter 9 with a summary of its findings, a discussion of their research and practical implications, a description of limitations and recommendations for future research, and concluding remarks. The present thesis contributes to the literature by empirically demonstrating that the DMCs of managers at different hierarchical levels are pivotal drivers of innovation. Beyond highlighting the role of managers in shaping organizational change, the findings show that the extent to which managers can promote innovation is dependent on managerial-, governance-, and firm-level factors. The results extend DMC literature to the decision-making context of today’s globalized digital economy. More specifically, this thesis contributes to management literature by (1) developing novel, holistic operationalizations of DMCs; (2) empirically analyzing individual-level interactions between DMCs in Industry 4.0 firms; (3) assessing the mechanisms by which DMCs promote firm-level innovation in digital industries, and to what extent; (4) suggesting that board characteristics are a crucial influence on the slack–innovation relationship in high-tech industries; (5) examining whether the DMCs of CEOs are critical micro-level antecedents to innovation; (6) proposing CEO power as a contingency of the relationship between DCCs and innovation; (7) clarifying the mechanisms through which DCCs determine the orchestration and deployment of different types of slack resources for innovation; (8) assessing the relative significance of the DCC subcomponents for orchestrating different types of slack resources for innovation; (9) examining the role of DMCs in today’s hypercompetitive economy; and (10) showing that the DCC–innovation relationship is affected by a CEO’s status as founder or nonfounder. From a practical perspective, the findings highlight the importance of DMCs across various hierarchical levels. The evidence also cautions that firms must be attentive to management position staffing, and underscores the importance of appropriate governance mechanisms, organizational structures, and resource endowments as conduits for innovation.

Abstract in another language

Innovation stellt einen zentralen Faktor bei der Entwicklung und Aufrechterhaltung von Wettbewerbsvorteilen dar. Allerdings verschärfen die zunehmenden Herausforderungen der heutigen globalisierten und digitalen Wirtschaft die risikoreiche und langfristige Natur von Investitionen in Forschung und Entwicklung (F&E). Dies setzt Manager*innen unter zunehmenden Druck, zeitnahe und dennoch fundierte Entscheidungen über Innovationsinvestitionen zu treffen. Die Förderung eines hohen Innovationsniveaus durch die Identifizierung, Schaffung, Realisierung und Aufrechterhaltung ungenutzter kommerzieller Möglichkeiten hat sich daher zu einer der größten – aber auch wichtigsten – Managementherausforderungen entwickelt. Organisationstheoretiker haben lange Zeit den entscheidenden Einfluss von individuellen Managementfähigkeiten auf den strategischen Unternehmenswandel ignoriert. Gemäß der Perspektive der dynamischen Managerfähigkeiten (DMC) sind Manager*innen aufgrund ihrer Verantwortung für die Ressourcenorchestrierung von zentraler Bedeutung für die Gestaltung der Unternehmensstrategien. Obwohl die Wissenschaft die Bedeutung individueller Fähigkeiten für die Entwicklung von Wettbewerbsvorteilen konzeptionell erkannt hat, fehlt es in der Literatur an einem ganzheitlichen Verständnis der Mechanismen, mit denen DMC die Innovationsfähigkeit von Unternehmen beeinflussen. Das Ziel der vorliegenden Arbeit ist es, die drei grundlegenden Ebenen des strategischen Managements – die Management-, Governance- und Unternehmensebenen – zusammenzuführen, indem umfassende Modelle der Entscheidungsfindung von Managern im einzigartigen Kontext der Innovation entwickelt werden. Zu diesem Zweck wird ein multitheoretischer Ansatz verwendet. Insgesamt leistet die vorliegende Arbeit einen Beitrag zur Managementliteratur, indem sie Mehrebenenmodelle zu den Determinanten der Innovationsfähigkeit von Unternehmen entwickelt und empirisch testet. Darüber hinaus wird in dieser Arbeit auch der veränderte Entscheidungskontext der heutigen hyperkompetitiven Wirtschaft bei der Analyse dieser Beziehungen explizit berücksichtigt. Die Ergebnisse der vorliegenden Arbeit weisen empirisch nach, dass DMC auf verschiedenen Hierarchieebenen zentrale Treiber für Innovationen sind. Weiterhin unterstreichen die Ergebnisse nicht nur die Rolle von Managern bei der Gestaltung des organisatorischen Wandels, sondern zeigen auch, dass das Ausmaß, in dem Manager Innovationen fördern können, von Faktoren auf Management-, Governance- und Unternehmensebene abhängt. Die vorliegende Arbeit erweitert die DMC-Literatur auf den Entscheidungskontext der heutigen globalisierten und digitalen Wirtschaft, indem sie (1) eine neuartige, ganzheitliche DMC Operationalisierung entwickelt; (2) die Interaktionen auf individueller Ebene zwischen DMC beleuchtet; (3) die Mechanismen testet, durch die DMC Innovationen fördern; (4) Governance-Faktoren als Moderatoren der DMC–Innovationsbeziehung berücksichtigt; (5) untersucht, inwiefern DMC von CEOs kritische Antezedenzien für die Innovation sind; (6) die Macht von CEOs als Kontingenz für die DMC–Innovationsbeziehung berücksichtigt; (7) die Mechanismen analysiert, durch die DMC die Orchestrierung und den Einsatz verschiedener Arten von Slack Ressourcen für die Innovation bestimmen; (8) die relative Bedeutung der DMC-Subkomponenten für die Orchestrierung verschiedener Arten von Slack Ressourcen für die Innovation analysiert; (9) die Rolle von DMC in der heutigen hyperkompetitiven Wirtschaft untersucht; und (10) nachweist, dass die Beziehung zwischen DMC und Innovation durch den Status eines CEO als Gründer beeinflusst wird. Aus Sicht der Managementpraxis unterstreichen die Ergebnisse die Bedeutung von DMC über verschiedene Hierarchieebenen hinweg. Die Ergebnisse zeigen daher, dass Unternehmen auf die Besetzung von Führungspositionen achten müssen und untermauern die Bedeutung von spezifischen Governance-Mechanismen, Organisationsstrukturen und Ressourcenausstattungen im Kontext der Innovation.

Further data

Item Type: Doctoral thesis (No information)
Keywords: Business model; Competitive advantage; Dynamic managerial capabilities; Digital transformation; Innovation; Strategic change; Upper echelons theory
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Business Administration
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Business Administration > Chair Business Administration IX - International Management/ Intercultural Management > Chair Business Administration IX - International Management/ Intercultural Management - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Reinhard Meckl
Graduate Schools > University of Bayreuth Graduate School
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Business Administration > Chair Business Administration IX - International Management/ Intercultural Management
Graduate Schools
Language: English
Originates at UBT: Yes
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:703-epub-6830-2
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2023 09:47
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2023 09:47


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