Non-R&D human capital and its effect(s) on product innovation.

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A large number of organizations are innovative without having an own R&D-department, while many studies see R&D as the main source of innovation. Therefore, this thesis seeks to explain to what extent the resource-based view (RBV), intellectual capital drive product innovation. The criticism on linear thinking within innovation studies has led to an attempt within this research to investigate interaction effects between RBV intellectual capitals, in order to map whether these interaction effects have a reinforcing effect. Intending to answer the reasearch question, a quantitative study has been conducted. The quantitative analysis contains data from the 2015 European Manufacturing Survey, whereas the survey sample includes 179 Dutch companies from seven different industries. The results have made clear that (non-R&D) human capital has no direct relationship with product innovation but strengthens the relationship between social capital and product innovation when interacting as a moderator. Moreover, it has been found that organizational capital has no direct relation with product innovation, which is also the case when (non-R&D) human capital is included as moderator. Finally, the research finds that R&D shows a correlation with technological product innovation, but not with non-technological product-service innovation. When (non-R&D) human capital interacts with these relationships, no relationship appears to be present in any of the cases. Follow-up studies are recommended to measure multiple aspects within the RBV intellectual capital and to focus on other interaction effects as not enough is known about this yet. In addition, a mixed-methods analysis would also be recommended, as this method allows to explain some inexplicable findings in the area of the resource-based view and product innovation.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen