The Mediating Role of Knowledge Sharing on Social Capital and Product Innovation among Tourism SMEs

Authors

  • David Pooe University of Johannesburg
  • Watson Munyanyi University of Johannesburg

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25159/1998-8125/7721

Keywords:

interorganisational trust, social capital, social reciprocity, knowledge sharing, product innovation

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the mediating role of knowledge sharing on social capital and product innovation among tourism SMEs in Zimbabwe.

Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative approach was adopted in this study and data was collected using an online survey, from owners and managers of small and medium enterprises in the tourism industry. The respondents were drawn using a simple random sampling technique from a database created and maintained by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority of Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo participants. Covariance-based structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data and test the hypotheses proposed.

Findings: The study found that both interorganisational trust and social reciprocity enhance product innovation in the tourism sector. It was also revealed that knowledge-sharing capability partially mediates the relationship between interorganisational trust and social reciprocity and product innovation.

Research limitations/implications: By focusing on interorganisational trust and social reciprocity, this study was limited to the relational dimension of social capital, and this offers scope for future research. More research needs to be undertaken to explore the role of interorganisational trust and social reciprocity across other dimensions of social capital other than the relational attributes. It is also necessary to conduct longitudinal studies to capture variations in time and across sectors using more robust measures.

Originality/value: The study expands on the existing line of scholarly work by providing a social dimension of the antecedents of product innovation. The findings suggest in the wake of resource limitation, firms in Zimbabwe may rely on interorganisational trust and social reciprocity to foster superior product innovation. In this knowledge-intensive business environment, this study also adds value by providing empirical evidence for the mediating role of knowledge-sharing capability in the relationship between interorganisational trust and social reciprocity, and product innovation.

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Published

2021-04-29

How to Cite

Pooe, David, and Watson Munyanyi. 2021. “The Mediating Role of Knowledge Sharing on Social Capital and Product Innovation Among Tourism SMEs”. Southern African Business Review 24 (April):29 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/1998-8125/7721.

Issue

Section

Articles
Received 2020-04-30
Accepted 2020-10-30
Published 2021-04-29