ENTREPRENEURIAL ALERTNESS AND PRODUCT INNOVATIVENESS: FIRM-LEVEL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTINGENCIES

International Journal of Innovation Management, Ahead of Print.
Although scholars have recognised that alertness is critical in identifying and exploring opportunities, empirical studies exploring when alertness drives innovation are lacking. Drawing insights from the cognitive and contingency perspectives, this study addresses this gap by arguing that variations in firm product innovativeness are a function of the degree of entrepreneurial alertness and levels of internal firm capabilities and environmental conditions. Data were collected from 385 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana. This study used the hierarchical regression estimation technique to analyses the data and found a significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial alertness and firm product innovativeness. Moreover, the findings showed that entrepreneurial alertness is beneficial for firms to innovate when pressures from customers and competitors are intense. Finally, the results revealed that stronger market information sharing and technological opportunism also amplify the alertness-innovativeness relationship.