External knowledge sourcing and new product development: Evidence from the Italian food and beverage industry

Gabriele Santoro, Demetris Vrontis, Alberto Pastore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of external knowledge in the innovation process of firms in the food and beverage (F&B) industry and the effects of two external knowledge sourcing modes on new product development (NPD) performance. Design/methodology/approach: The paper applies a quantitative approach, relying on data from 157 Italian firms operating in the F&B industry to test the hypotheses through OLS regression models. Findings: Results suggest that the surveyed firms actively engage in open innovation with strong ties with market-based sources. Moreover, the authors found that market-based sources are associated with income from incremental innovation and time to market, while science-based sources are associated with income from radical innovation. Finally, the authors found that the R&D intensity enhances the benefits of the above external knowledge sourcing modes. Originality/value: Despite the large amount of studies assessing the effects of external knowledge sourcing on performance in the open innovation field, few studies focused on a specific industry, especially with regard to F&B. Moreover, this paper considers different types of NPD performance measures given that different external knowledge sourcing modes exert different effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2373-2387
    Number of pages15
    JournalBritish Food Journal
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • External knowledge sourcing
    • Food and beverage industry
    • New product development
    • Open innovation


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