Learning to swim in the pool before surfing in the sea: a study of local innovation experimentation

Jin Han, Sandor Löwik , Haibo Zhou, Petra de Weerd-Nederhof, Yanmin Wang

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)


Successful development of complex innovations require firms and key partners to perform a series of experimentation activities at local small-scale society at first, which we define such strategic process as Local Innovation Experimentation (LIE). Doing so helps managers grasp a complete map of technical and non-technical dimensions about the proposed innovation, around which build viable innovation ecosystems to gain advantages. To know what could affect the extent to which managers have high level of LIE performance, we adopt the managerial dynamic capabilities framework. Using a sample of 111 Chinese innovative firms, we find significant relationships among managers’ capability portfolio, local innovation support, and LIE. PLS-SEM results indicate that managers with greater metacognitive capability, networking capability, learning agility have better LIE performance. Besides, (1) frequent attending local networking events and networking capability, (2) frequent use of innovation facilities and learning agility, interact in their positive effects on, and therefore result in, better LIE performance. Based on these findings, our core theoretical contribution lies in that a capability portfolio perspective at the lower (firm) level contributes to a better understanding of innovation ecosystem birth at higher (ecosystem) level.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2021
EventXXXII ISPIM Innovation Conference 2021: Innovating Our Common Future - Berlin, Virtual Conference, Germany
Duration: 20 Jun 202123 Jun 2021
Conference number: 32


ConferenceXXXII ISPIM Innovation Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleISPIM 2021
CityVirtual Conference
Internet address


  • local innovation experimentation; metacognitive capability; networking capability; learning agility; local innovation support


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning to swim in the pool before surfing in the sea: a study of local innovation experimentation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this