Knowledge and Innovation Performance in Czech Firms: The Influence of Decision-Making Structure




external knowledge, innovation performance, decision-making structure, Czech firms, product innovations, process innovations


There are plenty of factors that influence a company's innovation performance. They include, for example, the firm's strategy, organizational culture, size, and availability of resources. Besides these factors, a lot depends on the firm's leadership, attitude towards innovation, experience, and knowledge. The influence of external knowledge, like patents and inventions from other businesses, has been studied by researchers many times. However, previous scientific publications contain mixed evidence on the impact of external knowledge on a firm's innovation performance. Many of them defined separate factors, like innovation orientation or knowledge sources, as influential for the firm's innovativeness. However, not enough studies were made on firms' decision-making structure. Scholars suggested that decentralized companies are more likely to experiment in their innovation activities than centralized ones. We aim to determine the role of the decision-making structure in innovation performance by gaining external knowledge among firms in the Czech Republic. We contribute to the existing literature by distinguishing the firms by their legal statuses (sole proprietorship, partnership, shareholding company) and the presence/absence of a supervisory board. Our research is done by applying a quantitative method with empirical data. We use multiple linear regression and SPSS software to determine the influence of external knowledge acquisition and other related factors (R&D inside and outside the firm, age, size) on innovation performance, with decision-making structure indicators included. We divide innovations into process and product ones. The study uses the World Bank Enterprise Survey data for the Czech Republic. The results of this paper present important outcomes for practitioners. They will prompt more efficient innovation strategies for firms, depending on their management type.