Foreign competition and innovation: The mediating role of imitation

2017-05-16T08:27:16Z (GMT) by Tianjiao Xia Xiaohui Liu
This study examines the extent to which foreign competition affects the innovation performance of domestic firms through imitation, given firms’ absorptive capacity. In analyzing longitudinal firm-level data from the U.K., we find a mediating effect of imitation on the relationship between foreign competition and local firms’ innovation performance, and an inverted U-shaped relationship between imitation and the innovation performance of local firms. Our findings further reveal that absorptive capacity moderates the mediating effect of imitation, diminishing innovation gains at moderate levels of imitation and mitigating the diminishing innovation performance at high levels of imitation.