By incorporating institutional theory with the dynamic capability perspective, we investigate how emerging-market firms’ organizational capability to acquire resources through political networking with government officials complements their absorptive capacity in enhancing incremental and radical innovations. We further investigate the conditions under which the complementary effect matters. On the basis of a survey of 108 senior executives in China, we find that political networking capability complements absorptive capacity in overcoming resource constraints and organizational disadvantages in enhancing firms’ innovations, and the result is more effective in improving radical rather than incremental innovations. Furthermore, the complementary effect becomes stronger for emerging-market firms’ radical innovations when facing intense competition. We provide theoretical and practical implications of these findings.
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