Institutional imprinting, entrepreneurial agency, and private firm innovation in transition economies
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© 2017 Elsevier Inc. We study private firm innovation at an advanced stage of institutional transition in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. We adopt an integrated view, where the institution-based view of strategy is complemented by institutional imprints and entrepreneurial agency to argue that innovation at that stage of transition depends on private firm founding conditions earlier during the transition and on recent strategic initiatives to exploit specific opportunities, improving the innovation capacity of firms. In a ten-country sample of 2322 private firms, we find that firms founded earlier and those of larger size at inception are better at innovation because of imprints favoring network-based approaches. Innovation is even greater when these firms' top manager has less industry experience, suggesting complementarity between network- and resource-based approaches. Additionally, firms that upgrade their management knowledge and improve their operational efficiency achieve higher innovation, and the effect of the former is augmented with a greater foreign market focus. Our findings also suggest that the role of entrepreneurial agency is stronger than that of institutional imprinting. These results have important implications for the institution-based view of strategy and private firm innovation in transition economies of CEE and CIS.
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