Network Competence’s Impact on Service Innovation Performance: Mediating Role of Relationship Learning

DOI: 10.4236/jssm.2013.64029   PDF   HTML     3,556 Downloads   5,676 Views   Citations


In the unfolding knowledge-based economy, services do matter. But while they increasingly seem to play a pivotal role in innovation processes, there has been little systematic analysis of this role. Combined with the existing literatures, based on the service science theory, network competence theory and relationship learning theory, this paper analyzes the service innovation and the service innovation performance thoroughly. The paper constructs a structure equation model containing an intermediary variable. Through an empirical test of 243 enterprises of South China, this paper draws the following conclusions: 1) network competence has a positive impact on service innovation performance; 2) network competence has a significantly positive impact on relationship learning; 3) relationship learning has a positive impact on service innovation performance; 4) relationship learning plays a mediating role between the relationship of network competence and service innovation performance. This paper provides beneficial guidance for service innovation activities and strengthens the competitive advantage of service industry.

Share and Cite:

Z. Jian, C. Wang and X. Zhao, "Network Competence’s Impact on Service Innovation Performance: Mediating Role of Relationship Learning," Journal of Service Science and Management, Vol. 6 No. 4, 2013, pp. 256-265. doi: 10.4236/jssm.2013.64029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] H. G. Gemünden, T. Ritter and P. Heydebreck, “Network and Innovation Success: An Empirical Analysis in German High-tech Industries,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1996, pp. 449-462.
[2] A. Capaldo, “Network Structure and Innovation: The Leveraging of a Dual Network as a Distinctive Relational Capability,” Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 28, No. 4, 2007, pp. 585-608.
[3] J. Nahapiet and S. Ghoshal. “Social Capital, Intellectual Capital, and the Organizational Advantage,” Academy of Management Review, Vol. 23, No. 2, 1998, pp. 242-266.
[4] J. S. Chen, H. T. Tsou and Y. H. Huang, “Service Delivery Innovation: Antecedents and Impacts on Firm Performance,” Journal of Service Research, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 36-55.
[5] R. Agarwal and W. Selen, “Dynamic Capability Building in Service Value Networks for Achieving Service Innovation.” Decision Sciences, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2009, pp. 431-475.
[6] A. B. Eisingerich, G. Rubera and M. Seifert, “Managing Service Innovation and Interorganizational Relationships for Firm Performance: To Commit or Diversity?” Journal of Service Research, Vol. 11, No. 4, 2009, pp. 344-356.
[7] R. P. Lee, G. O. Ginn and G. Naylor, “The Impact of Network and Environmental Factors on Service Innovativeness,” Journal of Service Marketing, Vol. 23, No. 6, 2009, pp. 397-406.
[8] L. L. Berry, V. Shankar, J. T. Parish. “Creating New Markets through Service Innovation,” Sloan Management Review, Vol. 47, No. 2, 2006, pp. 56-63.
[9] L. Rubalcaba, G. Gallego and P. D. Hertog, “The Case of Market and System Failures in Service Innovation,” Service Industries Journal, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2010, pp. 549-566.
[10] J. Tidd, J. Bessant and K. Pavitt, “Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change,” 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 2005.
[11] E. J. Nijssen B. Hillebr, P. Vermeulen and R. Kemp. “Exploring Product and Service Innovation Similarities and Differences,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2006, pp. 241-251.
[12] C. M. Froehle and A. V. Roth, “A Resource-Process Framework of New Service Development,” Production and Operations Management, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2007, pp. 169-188.
[13] C. Storey and D. Kelly, “Measuring the Performance of New Service Development Activities,” The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2001, pp. 71-90.
[14] R. Adams and R. B. Phelps. “Innovation Management Measurement: A Review,” International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2006, pp. 21-47.
[15] P. J. Batt and S. Purchase, “Managing Collaboration within Networks and Relationships,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2004, pp. 169-174.
[16] G. Lorenzoni and A. Lipparini. “The Leveraging of Interfirm Relationships as a Distinctive Organizational Capacity: A Longitudinal Study,” Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1999, pp. 317-328.<317::AID-SMJ28>3.0.CO;2-3
[17] J. L. Johnson and R. S. Sohi, “The Development of Interfirm Partnering Competence: Platforms for Learning, Learning Activities, and Consequences of Learning,” Journal of Business Research, Vol. 56, No. 9, 2003, pp. 757-766.
[18] F. Selnes and J. Sallis, “Promoting Relationship Learning,” Journal of Marketing, Vol. 67, No. 3, 2003, pp. 80-95.
[19] L. Y. Li. “Relationship Learning at Trade Shows: Its Antecedents and Consequences,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2006, pp. 166-177.
[20] C. Y. Baldwin and K. B. Clark, “Design Rules: The Power of Modularity,” MIT Press, Cambridge, 2000.
[21] F. Bougrain, B. Haudeville. “Innovation, Collaboration and SMEs. Internal Research Capacities”, Research Policy, Vol. 31, No. 5, 2002, pp. 735-747.
[22] G. Ahuja, “Collaboration Networks, Structural Holes, and Innovation: A Longitudinal Study,” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2000, pp. 425-456.
[23] A. Grandori and G. Soda. “Inter-Firm Networks: Antecedents, Mechanisms and Forms,” Organization Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2, 1995, pp. 183-214
[24] P. Almeida and B. Kogut, “Localization and Knowledge and the Mobility of Engineers in Regional Networks,” Management Science, Vol. 45, No. 7, 1999, pp. 905-917.
[25] K. Eisenhardt and C. Schoonhoven. “Resource-Based View of Strategic Alliance Formation: Strategic and Social Effects in Entrepreneurial Firms,” Organization Science, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1996, pp. 136-150.
[26] Y. S. Chen, M. J. Lin and C. H. Chang, “The Influence of Intellectual Capital on New Product Development Performance-the Manufacturing Companies of Taiwanas as an Example,” Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, Vol. 17, No. 10, 2006, pp. 1323-1339.
[27] J. P. Cannon and W. D. J. Perreault, “Buyer-Seller Relationships in Business Markets,” Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 36, No. 4, 1999, pp. 439-460.
[28] C. Gronroos, “Service Management and Marketing,” John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000.
[29] M. M. Crossan, W. L. Henry and E. W. Roderice, “An Organizational Learning Framework: From Intuition to Institution,” Academy of Management Review, Vol. 24, No. 3, 1999, pp. 522-537.
[30] J. P. Walsh and G. R. Ungson, “Organizational Memory,” The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 16, No. 1, 1991, pp. 57-91
[31] J. S. Armstrong and T. S. Overton, “Estimating Non-Response Bias in Mail Surveys,” Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 14, No. 8, 1977, pp. 396-402.
[32] S. F. Slater and J. C. Narver, “Market Orientation and the Learning Organization,” Journal of Marketing, Vol. 59, No. 3, 1995, pp. 63-74.
[33] C. M. Fiol and M. A. Lyles, “Organizational Learning,” Academy of Management Review, Vol. 10, No. 4, 1985, pp. 803-813.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.