Van Criekingen, K. (2020), “External information sourcing and lead-time advantage in product innovation”, Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 709-726.

This paper assesses the relation between knowledge sourcing and lead-time advantage. Having a short throughput time for innovation projects, i.e. lead-time, can out firms in an advantageous position. The time that lapses between a project’s start and its completion, is influenced not only by the firm’s internal capabilities but also by how th firm connects to external knowledge.

The paper finds that breadth and depth of the external knowledge sourcing are positively related to lead-time advantage, albeit with diminishing returns. Investments into absorptive capacity, i.e. internal R&D, mitigates the diminishing returns.

Firms directing their external knowledge sourcing strategy toward consumers, suppliers and science are better able to capitalize on their innovations through lead-time advantages and firms also benefit from the special case of collaboration for product development.

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