Customer involvement on social media and product innovation performance: the role of combinative capabilities
Previous research on open innovation has highlighted the benefit of sourcing innovation externally. In this context, existing studies showed some insights on how firms use social media platforms to access external customer knowledge for innovation. However, little research has investigated the integration of customer knowledge after being acquired from social media platforms. This study applies the knowledge-based view of the firm to investigate the role of the firm’s combinative capabilities on integrating customer knowledge for innovation. Using survey data from small and medium enterprises in China, the findings of this study suggest that customer involvement using social media benefits the product innovation performance only when the customer knowledge can actually be acquired in the first place. Furthermore, the mechanisms associated with three types of combinative capabilities – coordination capabilities, systems capabilities and socialisation capabilities exhibit various effects in integrating customer knowledge. The results of this study contribute to the open innovation literature by addressing the role of the firm’s knowledge integration capabilities in value creation and to the knowledge-based view by extending it into the social media context.