Inderscience Publishers

Tangible slack versus intangible resources: the influence of technology slack and tacit knowledge on the capability of organisational learning to generate innovation and performance

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Literature has stated contradictory arguments about the importance of tangible and intangible resources. Meanwhile, the knowledge literature insists on the importance of tacit knowledge and a more traditional innovation literature and many practitioners have preferred to be focused on the importance of specific and tangible resources in organisational learning to generate innovative processes. In particular, the second perspective highlights the abundance of technological resources given the growing importance of information technology. Our sample of 575 technological firms operating in Spain shows that both resources are required to successfully implement the capability of organisational learning. Besides showing the positive relationship between this capability and the variables of innovation and performance, our results find that tangible and intangible resources have positive relationships with innovation and performance. In any case, our analysis allows us to discover the particularly strong influence that the variables related to the intangible resource of tacit knowledge exert on the organisational learning, innovation and performance of the sampled firms in comparison with the more moderated impact of the tangible resources related to technological slack.

Keywords: resource-based view, technology, slack, tacit knowledge, organisational learning, innovation, performance

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