Innovation-driven development strategy and research development investment: a case study of Chinese sport firms

Gang Chen, Luke L. Mao, Nathan David Pifer, James J. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study investigated the effectiveness and applicability of China’s innovation-driven policies on encouraging sports firms to invest in research and development (R&D) activities. Design/methodology/approach: Through a series of multiple linear regression models, this study examined the direct and interaction effects of innovation-driven polices and firm characteristics on R&D investment for sport firms listed on the New Third Board in China. Findings: Results showed that financing constraints and certification as a high-tech enterprise were not themselves significant predictors of R&D investment; instead, the number of R&D staff and a firm's total assets were identified as key internal factors predicting the level of a firm's R&D investment. Other effective policy tools for stimulating Chinese sport firms' R&D investments included pre-tax deductions of R&D expenses, government R&D subsidies and income tax relief for high-tech enterprises, although their effects were heterogeneous. Research limitations/implications: This study observes a new theoretical discovery that when the financing constraints do not limit R&D investment, innovation-driven strategies remain effective tools to stimulate the R&D investment of sports firms. Practical implications: The findings provided practical guidance for both government–industry policymakers and sport business managers to prioritize the identified areas of significance when promoting R&D. Originality/value: First, this study focused on sport firms, which constitute a quickly growing industrial sector in China. The findings offered important insights for the government as well as corporate management with regard to promoting new industries and new enterprises. Second, this paper analyzed the effects of three special innovation-driven policies on R&D investment and explored enterprise innovation development in more detail. Third, this paper discussed not only the effects of innovation-driven policies on R&D investment but also the heterogeneity of their effects. The related conclusions could help improve the development, implementation and assessment of innovation-driven policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1578-1595
Number of pages18
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020


  • Innovation-driven policy
  • Policy effectiveness
  • Research development investment
  • Sports firms listed on the New Third Board in China


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