Firms' boards of directors affect many strategic outcomes. Yet the impact of boards on new products, a key organizational adaptation mechanism, has been overlooked. Addressing this gap, the authors consider the effect of the firm's board interlock centrality, the extent to which board members are connected to boards of other firms, on its new product introductions. They propose that board interlock centrality provides firms access to market intelligence, creating opportunities to introduce incremental new products. Applying the motivation-opportunity-ability theory, the authors propose that two aspects of board leadership moderate this relationship: internal (vs. external) leadership and marketing leadership. They test the hypotheses using a panel of publicly listed U.S. consumer packaged goods firms, in which most new products are incremental innovations. As hypothesized, board interlock centrality increases new product introductions. This effect is stronger when firms have high internal leadership, internal marketing leadership, and a marketing CEO; it is weaker with high intra-industry external leadership. The findings highlight the unexpected role of board interlocks on innovation outcomes and advance the literature on marketing leadership, board interlocks, and social networks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management