Foreign Competition and Innovation: The Mediating Role of Imitation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Loughborough University


This study examines the extent to which foreign competition affects the innovation performance of domestic firms through imitation, given firms’ absorptive capacity. In analysing longitudinal firm‐level data from the UK, we find a mediating effect of imitation on the relationship between foreign competition and local firms’ innovation performance, and an inverted U‐shaped relationship between imitation and the innovation performance of local firms. Our findings further reveal that absorptive capacity moderates the mediating effect of imitation, diminishing innovation gains at moderate levels of imitation and mitigating the diminishing innovation performance at high levels of imitation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-482
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2017