Intangible capital, knowledge and new product development competence in supply chains: process, interaction and contingency effects among SMEs Academic Article uri icon


  • Leveraging the strengths of a firms supply chain partners for new product development (NPD) has become essential to satisfy rapidly changing customer demands and to remain competitive. Firms are, therefore, aiming to further their NPD competence, which we define as the ability of the supply chain to improve and generate new products and services, based on the processes and relationships established with suppliers and customers. This study examines how intangible capital and knowledge further the development of NPD competence within the context of a supply chain. A theoretical model, based upon resource-advantage theory, is tested via structural equation modelling utilising survey data collected from 195 small- and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing industry reporting on their primary supply chain. Our findings indicate that more easily transferable capital manifests itself in explicit knowledge and less easily transferable capital manifests itself in tacit knowledge. We further identify complementarities of the two types of intangible capital as influencing knowledge type development. More importantly, we find that the two types of knowledge differ in their ability to influence NPD competence in the supply chain, and that these links are moderated by relationship length. Supply chain management implications for academics and practitioners are presented. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Production Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Schoenherr, T., Griffith, D. A., & Chandra, A.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Schoenherr, Tobias||Griffith, David A||Chandra, Aruna

publication date

  • August 2014