There is consensus in the marketing literature that market knowledge and cross-functional collaboration are two fundamental resources for successful product innovation. However, few studies examine the dimensions or characteristics of market knowledge and how and why these resources influence product innovation performance. Drawing on contingency theory and the knowledge-based view of the firm, the authors argue that knowledge integration mechanisms may account for the effects of market knowledge dimensions (i.e., breadth, depth, tacitness, and specificity) and cross-functional collaboration on product innovation performance. They find that market knowledge specificity and cross-functional collaboration affect product innovation performance through knowledge integration mechanisms. In contrast, whereas the effect of market knowledge depth is partially mediated, market knowledge breadth has a direct, unmediated effect on product innovation performance. A test of an alternative moderating perspective shows that the effects of market knowledge depth and cross-functional collaboration on product innovation are negatively moderated by knowledge integration mechanisms. By showing the differential effects of market knowledge dimensions on product innovation performance, the authors provide a more refined understanding of the interplay among market knowledge, its integration, and the firm's performance in product innovation. The authors also conclude that by overlooking the role of knowledge integration mechanisms, previous research may have provided an overly optimistic view of the value of cross-functional collaboration in product innovation.
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- cross-functional collaboration
- knowledge integration mechanisms
- market knowledge
- product innovation