Co-creation can generate a multitude of organizational advantages, including improved innovation performance. While some studies have found that co-creating with several types of external stakeholders influences innovation performance positively, others have shown a negative effect. This contradictory empirical evidence highlights the need to unpack this relationship and examine which mediating variables can ensure that co-creating with various types of external stakeholders results in improved innovation performance. Accordingly, this article investigates the impact of breadth of external stakeholder co-creation on innovation performance, considering the mediating roles of knowledge sharing and product innovation. The paper draws on a cross-industrial sample of 1516 Spanish firms. Data are analyzed using a set of ordinary-least-squares regression models. Results show that breadth of external stakeholder co-creation is not directly related to innovation performance. Instead, this relationship is either fully mediated by product innovation, or follows the path through knowledge sharing and then product innovation.
- Multiple external stakeholders
- Product innovation
- Knowledge sharing
- Innovation performance