Inderscience Publishers

Innovation networks embedded with social capital for the sustainable development of machine tools industry

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This study examines how innovation networks may catalyse discontinuous innovations to maintain the sustainability of an industry. The machine tools industry being faced fast–paced technological improvements and change, innovation networks become important sources of innovative insights, capacities, and relationships, and the concept of evolution influences the overall industry. The proposed conceptual framework consists of four constructs: recognising network barriers, innovation networks, social capital, and discontinuous innovations. A benchmarking questionnaire comes from in–depth interviews with top executives from representative manufacturers; data gathered from 117 Taiwanese machine tools firms test the hypotheses according to structural equation modelling analysis. The results also provide a strategic perspective on how to embed social capital in effective innovation networks.

Keywords: discontinuous innovations, innovation networks, social capital, machine tools, technological improvements, technological change, innovative insights, innovative capacities, innovative relationships, network barriers, Taiwan, SEM, structural equation modelling, strategic perspectives, sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable economy

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