The study builds on and extends prior work on the search scope and innovation performance of small and medium-sized enterprises. Specifically, this study explores combinational causes leading to high innovation performance for emerging market firms using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). By calibrating the data, constructing the truth table and producing the fsQCA results on the data of small and medium-sized enterprises from China, this study highlights the combination of several causes that the innovation performance of firms depends on. The findings of this study reveal that the strong presence of R&D capability and firm size is necessary, while upward search scope is a sufficient condition for strong innovation performance. The article closes with implications for theory and practice and avenues for future work.
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