More is less? The curvilinear effects of political ties on corporate innovation performance

    Mingchuan Yu Affiliation
    ; Yujie Lu Affiliation
    ; Chao Li Affiliation
    ; Han Lin Affiliation
    ; Philip Shapira Affiliation


Previous research has explored the impact of political ties on corporate innovation performance, yet with controversial results. This study proposes that political ties has a curvilinear impact on innovation performance, and the resulting curvilinear relationship is moderated by absorptive capacity and external environment. We conduct examination based on a survey among Chinese manufacturing firms, which demonstrates an inverted U-shape relationship between political ties and corporate innovation performance. This inverted U-shape relationship is moderated by the absorptive capacity, which means the positive effect of political ties on corporate innovation performance is strong when the absorptive capacity of a firm is high. Furthermore, political ties, absorptive capacity and external environment (i.e. dynamism, munificence, and complexity) have a three-way interactive effect on corporate innovation, which means firms with strong political ties exhibit the highest innovation performance when their absorptive capacity and external environmental condition (dynamism or munificence or complexity) stand at high level simultaneously. The research findings provide a comprehensive understanding for firms, especially for those with different characteristics and under different external environments, to exploit political ties to facilitate corporate innovation performance.

Keyword : absorptive capacity, external environment, innovation performance, political ties

How to Cite
Yu, M., Lu, Y., Li, C., Lin, H., & Shapira, P. (2019). More is less? The curvilinear effects of political ties on corporate innovation performance. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 25(6), 1309-1335.
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Nov 15, 2019
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