Innovation Offshoring, Institutional Context and Innovation Performance: A Meta?Analysis
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Innovation offshoring (IO) has become a widespread management practice. Yet, evidence on the performance implications is inconsistent, and scattered across disciplines and contexts. We argue that the benefits firms can derive from IO depend on the institutional environment at home. Drawing on recent work on institutional theory in international business, we explore institutions that facilitate reverse knowledge transfer and/or institutional arbitrage with respect to innovation?related activities. The results of our meta?analysis that synthesizes evidence from 48 samples show that IO is related positively to innovation performance. As predicted, this relationship is moderated by differences in the institutional environments across countries. Specifically, when national innovation systems are weak at home, IO appears to enable institutional arbitrage strategy whereas Confucian cultures enable more effective reverse knowledge transfer. However, contrary to our expectations, the beneficial effects of IO appear to have diminished over time.