Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Ingrid M. Nembhard

Second Advisor

Susan H. Busch


Prior research suggests that innovation process effectiveness (IPE) - the degree to which an organization proficiently coordinates resources and activities for innovation - is a key contributor to organizational innovativeness, and ultimately organizational success. Despite the pivotal role of IPE, little research has focused on the factors that facilitate IPE. I propose that IPE depends on organizations' ability to access needed knowledge. Specifically, I hypothesize that IPE is related to organizational access to human capital (i.e., knowledge embedded in workers) and organizational capital (i.e., knowledge embedded in structures), with the relative impact of each capital differing between health care and other innovative industries due to industry-based differences in knowledge properties. My study of 221 organizations confirmed that access to capital predicts IPE, with the relevant capital differing by industry. In the health care industry, only human capital was positively associated with IPE, as measured by its three indicators: combinative capability, process efficiency, and output quality. In contrast, in other innovative industries, both human capital and organizational capital were associated with IPE. In these non-health care industries, access to both capitals predicted combinative capability and efficiency, both of which mediated the relationship between access to capital and output quality. Only combinative capability mediated the relationship between human capital and output quality in health care. These results suggest that access to knowledge resources plays a significant role in IPE, but the impact of particular resources is context-specific.


This is an Open Access Thesis.