What a difference a DV make ... The impact of conceptualizing the dependent variable in innovation success factor studies

Rudolf Dömötör, Nikolaus Franke, Christoph Hienerth

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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The quest for the "success factors" that drive a company's innovation performance has attracted a great deal of attention among both practitioners and academics. The underlying assumption is that certain critical activities impact the innovation performance of the company or the project. However, the findings of success factor studies lack convergence. It has been speculated that this may be due to the fact that extant studies have used many different measures of the dependent variable "innovation performance". Our study is the first to analyze this issue systematically and empirically: we analyze the extent to which different conceptualizations of the dependent variable (a firm's innovation performance) lead to different innovation success factor patterns. In order to do so, we collected data from 234 German firms, including well-established success factors and six alternative measures of innovation performance. This allowed us to calculate whether or not success factors are robust to changes in the measurement of the dependent variable. We find that this is not the case: rather, the choice of the dependent variable makes a huge difference. From this, we draw important conclusions for future studies aiming to identify the success factors in companies' innovation performance.
Original languageGerman (Austria)
Pages (from-to)23 - 46
JournalJournal of Business Economics (JBE) (früher: Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft ZfB)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007

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