, Volume 111, Issue 2, pp 889–916 | Cite as

Structural embeddedness and innovation diffusion: the moderating role of industrial technology grouping

  • Yibo Lyu
  • Quanshan Liu
  • Binyuan He
  • Jingfei Nie


Industrial technology grouping is a common phenomenon that occurs as an industry develops and evolves. However, the research on innovation diffusion has given little attention to the role of industrial technology grouping. This paper extends the prior research to analyze the impact of industrial technology grouping on innovation diffusion within the framework of structural embeddedness. In our empirical study, we selected a sample of patents in the smart phone industry during the 2004–2014 period. We used both hierarchical regression analysis and patent citation analysis to explore the impact of industrial technology grouping on innovation diffusion in the two dimensions of clustering and bridging ties, which yielded several valuable results. First, industrial technology grouping is a common phenomenon in the development of industrial technology. Moreover, the dynamic changes of technology clusters are an important driving force shaping the trends and diversity of industrial technology. Second, industrial technology grouping does not have a significant effect on firm innovation diffusion, whereas structural embeddedness directly affects innovation diffusion. Third, industrial technology grouping positively moderates the impact of structural embeddedness on firm innovation diffusion in both dimensions of clustering and bridging ties.


Industrial technology grouping Innovation diffusion Patent analysis Smart phone industry 

Mathematics Subject Classification

62J05 62G10 

JEL Classification

O32 O33 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 71572026 and 71632004.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yibo Lyu
    • 1
  • Quanshan Liu
    • 1
  • Binyuan He
    • 1
  • Jingfei Nie
    • 1
  1. 1.Dalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

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