Product innovation is an important research topic that has stimulated significant interest among management scholars and practitioners. Leadership has been suggested to be a critical factor affecting product innovation. Numerous studies have documented that transformational leadership positively influences product innovation performance, which is conceptualized as the degree to which a new product and/or service has achieved its market share, sales, rates of asset return, rates of investment return, and profit objectives. However, there is a lack of studies examining the specific means through which transformational leadership influences product innovation performance at the firm level. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the processes through which such effect is achieved and to determine whether corporate entrepreneurship and technology orientation as intervening factors influence this effect. To test the hypotheses, data were collected from 151 matched top management team (TMT) members and chief executive officers (CEOs) from Chinese manufacturing firms. Two separate questionnaires were used to collect the data. TMT members' questionnaire included measures of CEO's transformational leadership, whereas CEOs' questionnaire included questions about corporate entrepreneurship, technology orientation, and product innovation performance. Hierarchical linear regression was used to test the hypothesized effects. The results of the analysis provided the support for the fully mediating role of corporate entrepreneurship on the relationship between CEOs' transformational leadership and product innovation performance. In addition, technology orientation was found to significantly moderate the CEOs' transformational leadership-corporate entrepreneurship linkage. Furthermore, the mediated moderation effect of corporate entrepreneurship on the relationships among CEOs' transformational leadership, technology orientation, and product innovation performance was significantly supported. By studying leadership among CEOs, this study contributes to the research by elucidating the mechanisms through which transformational leadership influences product innovation performance. The mediating role of corporate entrepreneurship encourages managers to improve their leadership style so as to enhance the development of corporate entrepreneurship and innovation practices. The findings also show that technology orientation provides the conditions for the smooth translation of the CEO's transformational leadership into actual entrepreneurial activities. Hence, firms should prioritize technology orientation to optimize the implementation of transformational leadership so as to emphasize innovation and new venture creation.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation