The Direct and Indirect Impact of Relational Ties on Innovation Performance: An Empirical Study in China

Qiang Wang (First Author), Xiande Zhao (Participant Author), Chris Voss (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

14 Citations (Web of Science)


In large organizations, local use of innovations is not enough; extracting the full use of the innovation requires deployment across the organization. The purpose of this paper is to explore strategies for the deployment of service innovations and factors influencing success. We adopt an inductive theory-building approach with a longitudinal embedded case study of ten successful service innovations. We find two deployment strategies: required adoption, in which subsidiaries are required to adopt innovations, and voluntary adoption, in which adoption is not compulsory—innovations are showcased, but the adoption decision is left to the subsidiaries. We have investigated the factors influencing deployment, including the decentralized nature of service innovation, fit with the internal and external context, extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, and handovers. Based on analyses of case evidence, we put forward research propositions accordingly. This study provides managerial guidance for multidivisional organizations to extract full value from service innovations. Although some results may be particular to the Chinese context, research in other contexts can broaden the generalizability of the findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-308
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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  • ,longitudinal case study
  • Deployment strategies
  • innovation diffusion
  • multidivisional organizations
  • service innovation

Indexed by

  • SCIE
  • Scopus
  • SCI
  • SSCI


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