Internal networking and innovation ambidexterity: The mediating role of knowledge management processes in university research
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University researchInternal networkingInnovation ambidexterityKnowledge transferKnowledge absorption
D Cabeza-Pullés, V Fernández-Pérez, MI Roldán-Bravo (2020). Internal networking and innovation ambidexterity: The mediating role of knowledge management processes in university research. European Management Journal, 38 (3), 450-461.
SponsorshipThis research was supported by the European Regional Development Fund (European Union) and the Government of Spain (Research Project ECO2017-84138-P).
This article focuses on public organizations to contribute to research on knowledge management processes, a field that until recently has focused primarily on private entities. Specifically, we analyse the mediating role of knowledge transfer and knowledge absorption in the relationship between the internal networking created in university research groups and innovation ambidexterity. Based on six hypotheses, the conceptual model is tested through a structural equations model with mediation effects. The data analysed come from 249 directors of Spanish public university research groups. The results show that the internal networking formed in university research groups has a positive and significant relationship to knowledge transfer and knowledge absorption, but we obtain different results for the relationship between knowledge transfer and knowledge absorption in the presence of innovation ambidexterity. Only knowledge absorption has a positive and significant influence on innovation ambidexterity. The most interesting results involve the mediating role of knowledge absorption in the relationship between internal networking and innovation ambidexterity. These results support the conclusion that directors of university research groups should promote development of knowledge absorption processes in order to stimulate innovation ambidexterity and thus to achieve ambidextrous innovative performance.