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[Journal:] Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity [ISSN:] 2199-8531 [Volume:] 8 [Issue:] 3 [Article No.:] 140 [Year:] 2022 [Pages:] 1-16
MDPI, Basel
Innovation capabilities are among the main driving sources of export performance; however, the literature on how exploration and exploitation innovation influence export performance in the context of emerging economies is scarce. As such, the purpose of this paper is to assess the relationship between innovation capabilities and export performance, mediated by exploration and exploitation innovation. For that, an online questionnaire was implemented surveying 250 Mozambican Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agro-industry, agro-processing, and fishing sectors. Based on a Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Model (PLS-SEM) relating innovation capabilities, exploitation, and exploration innovation to export performance, it is possible to state that innovation capabilities influence the export performance of SMEs in this emerging country. Moreover, exploration and exploitation innovation exert important mediation effects, the latter being more prevalent than the former. The results constitute a major contribution as it is possible to claim that, in the context of emerging economies, Mozambican SMEs have managed to enhance their export performance, based on innovation capabilities, but, also, to master their ambidexterity with exploiting capabilities, normally linked to their current technological trajectories, being more prevalent that exploitation capabilities, which are focused on the pursuit of radical innovation.
exploitation innovation
exploration innovation
export performance
innovation capabilities
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