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Interorganizational collaboration strategies and innovation abandonment: The more the merrier?

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Abstract

Investments in innovation activities involve uncertainty. Abandonments of innovative projects are frequent and can entail great losses. Interorganizational collaboration can help a firm to leverage and complement its own competencies and technologies, contrasting the factors that may cause the abandonment of innovation activities. This article shows that firms collaborating with a wider network of external partners to conduct their innovation activities are less likely to abandon them. The article also analyses how different categories of partners among customers & suppliers, competitors, consultants & private R&D institutions, universities & public R&D institutions are associated with the risk of innovation abandonment. Finally, the results show that international collaborations are more likely associated with innovation abandonment than domestic ones. Strategic and theoretical implications are drawn.

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... As described above, the results of collaboration may be measured differently depending on the goals of R&D collaboration: in cases driven by technological aims, know-how and patent acquisition through technology development, as well as the discovery of technological opportunities, can be counted as achieved outcomes (Brockhoff and Teichert, 1995;Caloghirou et al., 2021;Dyer et al., 2007;Eom and Lee, 2010;Jun et al., 2020;Zacharias et al., 2020). In cases with economic aims, outcomes can be measured based on various performances including increased sales from the development of new products as well as reduction in R&D costs, shortened time to market entry, improved R&D success rates, and entry into new markets (Arranz and de Arroyabe, 2008;Brockhoff and Teichert, 1995;Fernández-Olmos and Ramírez-Alesón, 2017;Greco et al., 2020;Hottenrott and Lopes-Bento, H. 2016;Jun et al., 2020;Sarpong and Teirlinck, 2018;Zacharias et al., 2020). In other cases, such as those with people-related aims, even indices such as expansion of networking, strengthening of R&D capabilities through learning, and building trust can be regarded as outcomes (Brockhoff and Teichert, 1995;Caloffi et al., 2018). ...
... The intensity of R&D collaboration is particularly important: since we need to take account of the complexity of R&D collaboration, the proportion of internal or external collaboration in R&D is also an important factor influencing the performance outcomes of collaboration (Caloghirou et al., 2021;Hottenrott and Lopes-Bento, H. 2016;Sarpong and Teirlinck, 2018). In addition, the necessity and effects of public funding for R&D collaboration by SMEs has also been a subject of active research (Caloffi et al., 2018;Jun et al., 2020;Yoo et al., 2018): in considering R&D characteristics, the source of R&D financing and the portfolio of financing are also key concerns (Arranz and de Arroyabe, 2008;Greco et al., 2020;Sarpong and Teirlinck, 2018). Therefore, for R&D characteristics, this study considered the scale of R&D costs, the R&D cost utilization, the technology development implementation ratio (R&D collaboration intensity), R&D cost procurement, and experiences categorized by the type of collaboration R&D partner (see Table 1). ...
... Next, technology characteristics can be divided into the technological features of the core technologies themselves and the technological capabilities of firms. First, the technological capability of a firm is often analyzed based on the level of intellectual property rights held by the firm (Bellucci et al., 2019; Kafouros et al., 2020) and has also been analyzed in terms of the absorptive or adaptive capacity of the firm in relation to technology (Gkypali et al., 2017;Greco et al., 2020;Zacharias et al., 2020), as well as in terms of equipment availability or the level of technology relative to the global level (Yoo et al., 2018). Likewise, in this study, to take account of the overall capability for technology development, we considered the patents acquired, technology development performance outcomes, the number of R&D projects and their performances. ...
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Seeking to stimulate and improve the rate of success of R&D collaboration by SMEs, this study developed a method of recommending types of external collaboration organizations that are optimal partners for SMEs. We began by examining the current data on R&D collaboration by partner type to effectively classify the types of R&D partners engaged with South Korean SMEs. Next, we applied machine learning and discriminant analysis to develop a hybrid model for recommending firms that will likely achieve high satisfaction from collaboration with four representative types of R&D partners (universities, public research institutes, large firms, and SMEs). Lastly, we used new data that had not been included in the model development stage, to perform additional evaluations of the model. In our research results, the hybrid recommendation model, designed to identify SMEs that will achieve high satisfaction by R&D partner type, demonstrated outstanding accuracy exceeding 91%. By applying the model proposed in this paper, firms will be able to select their R&D partner types more efficiently and improve the likelihood of achieving success in R&D collaboration. Meanwhile, those responsible for implementing public policies may use the proposed model to improve the efficiency of public investments that support R&D collaboration.
... One of the most important innovation portfolio decisions is whether a firm should rely on external sources of knowledge and collaborate with other entities, i.e. competitors, suppliers, customers, and universities. Innovation collaboration allows, among others, to share inputs necessary for the development of successful innovations (Belderbos et al., 2015), share risks and uncertainty (Cassiman & Veugelers, 1998), and gain access to new sources of knowledge, skills and technologies (Cassiman & Veugelers, 1998;Greco et al., 2020;Maietta, 2015). Although the decision of R&D collaboration can be efficiencydriven offering significant gains and enhancing innovation performance, its impact on firms' innovative output is mixed (Belderbos et al., 2015;Moaniba et al., 2019;Un & Asakawa, 2015). ...
... Generation and acquisition of knowledge is a basic ingredient of innovation. Firms acquire knowledge by collaborating with others e.g., firms, universities, etc. Access to external knowledge is one of the most important benefits of collaboration as it may increase firms' knowledge base and ability to organize their own tangible and intangible resources (Greco et al., 2020). Czarnitzki et al., (2007) show that cooperation tactics have a positive effect on a firm's innovation outcome. ...
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To develop innovation, firms make several decisions on the allocation of resources to specific innovation activities. Important innovation decisions include among others the decision to collaborate with other partners for innovation activities and the decision to engage in complex R&D projects such as projects with environmental benefits. Although there are very few empirical works that examine these two decisions together, while supporting that R&D collaborations are more important for the development of environmental innovations than for conventional innovations, an empirical work that examines the joint impact of these two decisions on corporate innovation efficiency is still lacking. This study aims to fulfill this gap by making one of the first attempts to employ a new dataset based on the Greek Community Innovation Survey (CIS), conducted for the years of 2012–2014 analyzing 2456 companies. Econometric results indicate that firm’s decision to eco-innovate exerts a positive influence on firms’ innovation efficiency directly. On the contrary, regarding the decision to engage in R&D collaborations, econometric results indicate that there is not a direct or an indirect, via eco-innovation, impact on innovation efficiency.
... OI may also induce firms to develop new practices to enable collaboration with other organisations, which causes costs (Laursen and Salter, 2014). Such costs can be more significant when a firm collaborates with (or sources knowledge from) many different organisations (Dahlander and Gann, 2010), especially if such organisations have specific corporate cultures, goals and business routines (Greco et al., 2020). Indeed, collaboration with specific categories of partners bears peculiar risks. ...
... In another study, Lokshin et al. (2011) found that collaboration with customers or suppliers is less likely to experience issues during R&D technological partnerships. More recently, Greco et al. (2020) did not find significant differences between partner categories on the likelihood of abandoning innovation projects. Instead, they found that collaboration breadth is associated with a lower abandonment risk. ...
Article
Purpose Despite the multiple calls for research on the dark side of open innovation, very few studies have approached the topic so far. This study aims to analyse successful and unsuccessful open innovation projects. Design/methodology/approach This study uses thematic analysis to describe the factors determining their (un)success. The researchers interviewed 27 managers and owners in the manufacturing sector. Then, the respondents were asked to discuss one successful and one unsuccessful open innovation project to explore the differences in triggers and setbacks, focusing on the causes that determined the failures. Findings Findings show that many interviewees are reluctant to identify failure cases, which somewhat explains the paucity of studies on the topic, and others do so when the failure is recognised by a third party (such as a public institution not granting funds to the project). This study discussed how this phenomenon is linked with the paradoxical relation between innovation success and failure. It is also found that triggers and setbacks determining the project's (un)success are markedly differently based on the technological intensity of the firm. Implications for scholars and practitioners are also drawn. Originality/value This study provides a balanced view between open innovation successes and failures to offer informative recommendations to practitioners. Furthermore, it contributes to filling the scarcity of studies related to risks and failures of open innovation projects. This gap has been addressed by studying the factors that determine the success and unsuccess of an open innovation project.
... This special issue includes twelve articles dealing with the following topics on networks and innovation: (a) Impact of networks characteristics on focal firms' innovation (Ali et al., 2020;Dahms, Cabrilo, & Kingkaew, 2020;Greco, Grimaldi, & Cricelli, 2020;Jiang, Yang, Zhao, & Li, 2020;Liu, Rindt, & Hart, 2020;Raza, Saeed, Yousafzai, Shahid, & Muffatto, 2020); and (b) determinants of innovation in interfirm networks (Bouncken, Fredrich, Ritala, & Kraus, 2020;Cappiello, Visentin, & Giordani, 2020;Cremer & Loebbecke, 2020;Maghssudipour, Lazzeretti, & Capone, 2020;Sadeh & Kacker, 2020;Watson, Senyard, & Dada, 2020). ...
... This study identifies patterns of asset configurations, highlights the role of bundling (the process of combining firm resources to construct or alter firm's capabilities) in value creation, and gives insight into the link between asset management and the creation of value. The article entitled "Interorganizational collaboration strategies and innovation abandonment: the more the merrier?" by Greco et al. (2020), demonstrates that firms collaborating with a wider network of external partners for the purpose of managing their innovation activities are less likely to abandon these networks. The study analyses how different categories of partners among customers & suppliers, competitors, consultants & private R&D institutions, universities & public R&D institutions, are associated with the risk of innovation abandonment. ...
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In today's dynamic, complex and interconnected environments, interfirm networks in its various forms (e.g. franchising, retail and service chains, cooperatives, financial networks, joint ventures, strategic alliances, clusters, public-private partnerships, digital platforms) are becoming increasingly important in helping firms improve their competitive position through an enhanced access to innovation, complementary resources and capabilities otherwise not available to them. Driven by increased performance pressures in unpredictable environments, firms embedded in networks are increasingly moving from cooperators to collaborators as value co-creators. The aim of this introductory article is to discuss the role of innovation in business networks by focusing on two major topics: Network innovation versus innovation through networks. In addition, we provide an overview of the articles included in the special issue on Networks and Innovation focusing on the questions: (1) what is the impact of network characteristics on a firm's innovation?; and (2) what are the determinants of innovation in interfirm networks?
... in dynamic and complex environments (Deeds et al., 2000). Frequently cited reasons for suspension or abandonment include a lack of financial resources and experience, a refocus of organization objectives, and general market factors (Greco et al., 2020;Mohnen et al., 2008). ...
Article
As innovation is inherently risky and uncertain, it is common for firms to suspend or abandon new product/service development projects that cannot achieve pre‐defined objectives. Multiple cases exist where firms have attempted to resume the development of an innovative product or service after previously suspending or abandoning it prior to completion. Research on this important innovation recycling activity is surprisingly scarce, despite its critical role in mitigating risk in the context of high environmental uncertainty. We draw our inferences from Sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA), where innovation resources are relatively limited and environmental uncertainty and institutional voids prevail, a context that encourages the use of innovation recycling. This study examines how innovation recycling influences a firm's innovation ability and the moderating impact of innovation sourcing modes using a knowledge‐based view of the firm and arguments from transaction cost economics. We retrieved data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey and the Innovation Follow‐up Survey of 1076 firms located in eight SSA countries (Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) spanning from 2011 to 2014 to test our conceptual model. Our findings show that (1) innovation recycling has a positive influence on a firm's innovation ability and (2) this relationship is moderated by different innovation sourcing modes. These findings enrich the theory and imply that firms operating in developing countries need to develop innovation recycling by focusing on sourcing knowledge within, rather than across, firm boundaries.
... With respect to collaborator types, Greco et al. (2020) found only slight differences in the relationships between partner types and the innovation abandonment. However, several scholars have reported conflicting results. ...
Article
While innovation is an attractive path, it is also a rocky path made up of numerous challenges, even failures. This study provides new knowledge for understanding innovation failure. It seeks answers to the question: What are the perceived factors of innovation failure in SMEs? Every individual who has experienced an innovation failure has a story to tell. Therefore, the research question of this study is answered based on these stories. The main data are collected through narratives produced by individuals who have been involved in the development of completely failed innovation initiatives. In addition, four expert interviews are conducted. The results demonstrate that the most common factor for innovation failure is the occurrence of several incidents during the innovation process that slowly contribute to complete failure. In addition, the results reveal three SME-typical narratives of failed innovations as narrators the Passionate Innovator, the Solo Innovator, and the Developer Innovator.
... Accounting for the broader business network when studying exploitation and exploration knowledge flows could provide new and important findings. For instance, Greco, Grimaldi, and Cricelli (2020) found that firms collaborating with a wider network of external partners to conduct their innovation activities are less likely to abandon them, but they also found that this effect can be quite different based upon a specific collaboration partner. Building on this work, one may wonder how knowledge flows through the network from partner to partner, how this flow is governed, and how different partner characteristics influence these knowledge flows. ...
Article
We theorize that industry conditions of collaboration intensity and innovation intensity drive the development of competence exploitation and exploration in manufacturer-manufacturer collaborations, and that such competencies can be leveraged to increase firm-level new product sales and market share, contingent on the firm's establishment of non-proprietary knowledge transfer capability. We test our model using a survey of 224 manufacturer-manufacturer collaborations. Our findings indicate that collaboration intensity drives firms to build both competence exploration and exploitation while innovation intensity drives neither. We also find that while non-proprietary knowledge capability enhances the influence of competence exploration on a firm's new product sales and market share, it dampens the firm's ability to leverage competence exploitation for firm-level new product success.
... We leverage the institutional, resource dependence, and absorptive capacity theories to formulate hypotheses regarding the possible impact of the collaboration with external organizations on the choice to reshape a firm's supply chain to allow reverse logistics. We elaborate on four collaboration archetypes, including vertical and horizontal collaboration (Ahn et al., 2017;Miemczyk, 2008;Parida et al., 2012;Reniers et al., 2010), collaboration with universities (Sjöö and Hellström, 2019;Walsh et al., 2016;Wirsich et al., 2016) and collaboration breadth (Drechsler and Natter, 2012;Greco et al., 2020). ...
Article
Despite the popularity of reverse logistics in literature, the effect of different collaboration types on the likelihood to introduce reverse logistics innovation has been under-investigated. Hence, this article explores the impact of domestic collaboration with competitors, customers, suppliers, research institutions, and the breadth of collaboration on a firm's reverse logistics innovation. Four hypotheses - grounded on institutional, resource dependence, and absorptive capacity theories – are tested through generalized structural equation modelling analyses on a longitudinal sample of German firms. The results show a positive impact of vertical collaboration, horizontal collaboration, and collaboration with research institutions on the likelihood to introduce reverse logistics innovation. In contrast, collaboration breadth has a negative impact on reverse logistics, an unexpected and surprising result for the innovation management literature. The article offers recommendations to practitioners as to which partners are more likely to increase the odds of introducing reverse logistics innovation and demonstrates that – to such an aim - firms should select a limited number of partners, identifying the ones that suit their needs the most.
... Nevertheless, almost every other company has been reported to experience difficulties benefiting from open innovation (Enkel et al., 2009). Large firms are broadly dissatisfied with their practice of open innovation (Chesbrough, 2020;Chesbrough & Brunswicker, 2014), and many open innovation projects are abandoned due to managerial difficulties (Greco et al., 2020;Lhuillery & Pfister, 2009). Consequently, a stream of research has focused on how companies could manage open innovation effectively. ...
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The benefits of inbound open innovation are widely acknowledged, but not all companies are successful in their attempts to leverage external sources of innovation. Those with dynamic capabilities perform better, but developing and maintaining such capabilities generates costs. Therefore, a given company needs to find out which capabilities are worth investing in. In the current study, I adopt a contingency approach to inbound open innovation. I focus on distinct open innovation strategies that vary according to their approaches to innovative search and accessing complementary knowledge. I develop a typology of six inbound open innovation strategies based on the dimensions of managerial attention (proac-tive/reactive) and locus of innovation (internal/shared/external). I further report their requirements for four dynamic capabilities: sensing capability, impression management capability, absorptive capacity, and collaboration capability. The findings bring attention to often-ignored reactive strategies for inbound open innovation and provide a nuanced view of how the division of development responsibilities in different phases of the innovation process affects requirements for dynamic capabilities. The study supports managers in implementing successful inbound open innovation strategies by helping them choose a strategy that supports their organization's overall objectives and strike a balance between underinvestment and overinvestment in dynamic capabilities.
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Questo capitolo ha l'obiettivo di analizzare l'ammontare e i criteri di allocazione fra le sedi del finanziamento del sistema universitario nazionale nel corso degli ultimi anni. Al tempo stesso ha l'obiettivo di valutare – almeno in parte-l'impatto di queste regole, soprattutto da un punto di vista territoriale. Le principali conclusioni cui si giunge sono le seguenti. Sin dalla nascita (1993), il Fondo di Finanziamento Ordinario delle università (FFO) presenta alcune contraddizioni di fondo: esso consolida lo status quo dell'allocazione di fondi alla università, attraverso la definizione della cosiddetta " quota storica " ; si presenta come veicolo di finanziamento omnibus all'interno del quale fare ricadere sia gli interventi per il funzionamento sia allocazioni " premiali " , ponendo le premesse per una perniciosa mescolanza di ambiti fra loro assai diversi. Fino al 2008 la dimensione del fondo cresce, e la ripartizione non mostra grandi squilibri, anche se aumentano le quote relative degli atenei del Nord e del Sud, rispetto a quelli del Centro e delle Isole. Con i provvedimenti presi a partire dal 2008, ed in particolare con la c.d. " riforma Gelmini " (L. 240/2010), il quadro cambia. L'investimento pubblico nelle università si riduce drasticamente. Il FFO diminuisce notevolmente fino a tornare, in valori reali, ai livelli di metà anni Novanta. Sul totale delle entrate degli atenei diminuisce sensibilmente il peso delle risorse attribuite dal MIUR (e in particolare del FFO), a vantaggio della contribuzione studentesca e di finanziamenti di soggetti terzi, specie privati. Questo cambiamento produce un significativo impatto territoriale, perché colpisce in particolare le università collocate nelle aree meno ricche del paese. Il FFO, in forte contrazione, viene poi ripartito in modo assai diverso rispetto al passato. Viene suddiviso, principalmente, in una " quota base " del finanziamento, fortemente decrescente in valore assoluto e come peso sul totale, e in una " quota premiale", crescente. La definizione e l'utilizzo dei criteri " premiali " (il cui peso arriva al 20% del FFO nel 2015) segue un indirizzo opposto a quello raccomandato dalla European University Association per questo tipo di interventi. In un quadro di forte riduzione del finanziamento complessivo, i criteri non svolgono una funzione " premiale " (aumento delle risorse per gli atenei ritenuti " virtuosi ") ma determinano solo una diversa modulazione dei tagli imposti dalle scelte complessive di finanziamento. La stessa definizione di " premiale " appare discutibile: si tratta di una scelta discrezionale di differenti criteri di riparto. Fra il 2008 e il 2015 vengono utilizzati 23 indicatori diversi, che cambiano – in misura rilevante-tutti gli anni. Sono sempre definiti univocamente dal Ministero anno per anno, dopo aver avuto a disposizione i relativi dati degli atenei. Il sistema è barocco: nel 2015, per stabilire l'allocazione dell'intero FFO vengono variamente combinati 52 dati per ogni università. Molti di questi indicatori sono influenzati dalle condizioni dei contesti in cui si collocano le università: non a caso sono stati talvolta introdotti correttivi " territoriali " , ma di modesto impatto. Molti – come quelli relativi alla " qualità " della ricerca – sono influenzati, oltre che dalle modalità di calcolo, anche dalle dotazioni di partenza, umane e strumentali, degli atenei. La quota base di finanziamento scende dai 6,7 miliardi del 2008 ai 4,9 del 2015. A partire dal 2014 una percentuale crescente (25% nel 2015) della quota base è attribuita non più con rife-rimento ai dati del passato (" storici ") ma calcolando il " costo standard di formazione per studen-te in corso ". Tale modifica appare opportuna, alla luce delle distorsioni evidenti del finanziamen
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The main aim of this paper is to analyze the factors affecting the likelihood of the failure of innovation projects (delay or abandonment) and the relation between project failure and innovation performance. Specific emphasis is given to the role of collaboration in general, and to collaboration with universities and public research institutions (PRI) in particular. We use data about German firms for the period 2002–2005, merging the results of two successive Community Innovation Surveys. We show that collaboration is associated with the Delay and, to a lesser extent, the Abandonment of innovation projects. Collaboration with PRI does not increase either the likelihood of project failure or the innovation performance, compared to collaboration with firms. We also show that there is a positive relation between the delay of projects and the innovation performance of firms. The occurrence of delays can be considered as a sort of ‘necessary’ cost in order to raise the level of innovation performance.
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The paper analyses the relationship between the perception of barriers to innovation and the firm’s propensity to cooperate to mitigate their effect. First, we look at whether cooperation with research organizations or private firms is associated with experiencing different types of barriers, for example, financial constraints, lack of human capital or uncertain market demand. Second, we test whether experiencing several types of barriers simultaneously has a super-modular effect on the propensity to cooperate tout court, and the choice of cooperation partner. We find that having to face a single, specific constraint leads to firms ‘sharing the pain’ with cooperation partners—both research organization and other firms. However, the results of a super-modularity test show that having to cope with different barriers is a deterrent to establishing cooperation agreements, especially when firms lack finance, adequate skills and information on technology or markets. The paper adds to the innovation literature by identifying the factors associated with firms’ coping with different barriers by applying a selective cooperation strategy.
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Entrepreneurial biotech and large pharmaceutical firms often form alliances to co-develop new products. Yet, new product development (NPD) is fraught with challenges that often result in project suspensions and failures. Considering this, how can firms increase the chances that their co-development alliances will create value? To answer this question, the authors build on insights from signaling theory to argue that prior project suspensions provide positive signals leading to an increase in value creation, while project failures have the opposite effect. In addition, drawing on insights from temporal construal theory, this research predicts that the strength of these effects is contingent on the stage along the exploration-exploitation continuum at which the alliance is formed. The authors undertook event study analyses of 248 alliances formed by 104 biotechnology firms from the United States and Europe listed on eight stock exchanges over an 8-year period between 1996 and 2003. The results confirm that prior NPD project suspensions have a stronger value creation effect (or prior failures have a weaker value destruction effect) in the case of exploration alliances in the upstream of NPD processes than in the case of moderate-scale exploitation alliances in the downstream of NPD. This study is among the first to examine how both prior NPD project suspensions and failures of firms affect the abnormal returns achieved from co-development alliances. This research therefore contributes to the innovation literature by honing a better understanding of setbacks and failures in NPD. Moreover, the findings contribute to the literature on strategic alliances by identifying new conditions under which firms can create or preserve value. This research also contributes to signaling theory by providing evidence of the moderation effect caused by the signaling environment. Finally, this study contributes to the entrepreneurial literature on value creation for entrepreneurial firms in alliances following adverse events.
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The open innovation (OI) paradigm describes how firms innovate by interacting with other organizations. Several authors found that specific OI strategies have a positive effect on economic and industrial innovation performance. Nevertheless, over-search and over-collaboration phenomena might reduce the OI marginal returns when a firm resorts to additional external innovation partners. This article hypothesizes that the variety of external innovation channels (search breadth) used by a firm, the extent to which a firm draws deeply from them (search depth) and the extent to which a firm collaborates through different external channels (coupled OI) are curvilinearly related with innovation performance. The empirical models are estimated using 84,919 firms from Eurostat's Community Innovation Survey, which was conducted in 2008 across European countries. The results suggest that search breadth is curvilinearly related with all the measures of innovation performance, whereas s
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The disruptive economic downturn of the period 2008-2009, forced industrial firms to implement strategies, in order to survive and to generate new competiveness sources. One of such strategic behaviours regards the way of intervention on several innovation areas through different strategies. Disentangling the effect of pre-crisis adopted innovations, industrial relations quality and economic performance on such strategies may be of extreme relevance to analyse the nexus between the reactions to the challenges brought by the crisis and the capacity of the firms to proactively tackle economic downturns. The present work provides an empirical analysis on the basis of more than 500 Italian manufacturing firms located in Emilia-Romagna region. The results suggest the existence of strong relationships between pre-crisis innovative activities and the capacity to react to the challenges brought by the crisis. This happens through innovative strategies, whose contents are mainly product (technological competitiveness), process and organisation/HRM innovative dimensions (cost competitiveness/efficiency gaining). Complementary innovative activities emerge as a key factor. Industrial relations quality is also related to the strategic reaction to the crisis: more participative industrial relations support the adoption of diversified types of innovation strategies. There is, instead, no evidence of a relation between past economic performance and innovation actions in the crisis.
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Extant research on the management of time shows that the speed of undertaking new strategic moves has negative consequences for firm profitability. However, the literature has not distinguished whether this outcome results from the effects of speed on firms' revenues or from the effects of speed on firms' costs, or examined how firms can become more profitable by reducing the negative consequences of speed. We address these gaps for a specific strategic move – alliance portfolio expansion. We show that the speed at which firms expand their alliance portfolios increases managerial costs disproportionately relative to revenues, leading to an overall negative effect on firm profitability. However, a more regular rhythm of expansion and a longer duration of existing alliances reduce the negative profitability consequences of expansion speed by moderating the increase in managerial costs. These findings suggest that firms that make strategic moves, such as alliances, may reduce the negative profitability consequences of speed when they maintain a regular expansion rhythm and when their existing strategic engagements require modest managerial resources.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the recurrences in the empirical evidences that link open innovation (OI) actions and innovation performance in European countries. It provides managers with useful strategic suggestions, emphasizes the limitations of the state of the art, and recommends future directions of research. Design/methodology/approach – The authors systematically reviewed empirical articles linking OI actions and innovation performance in European countries, published on peer reviewed journals from January 2003 until May 2013. The authors organized the evidences according to a novel taxonomy grounded in the literature. Findings – The paper shows an increasing interest in the research of empirical evidence regarding OI and innovation performance. Nonetheless, evidence of the role played by outbound OI activities are extremely rare. The authors found that process innovations are more likely to benefit from coupled OI activities rather than inbound activities. Moreover, the effect of coupled depth actions on both product and process innovation performance was always positive in the reviewed articles. The authors also discuss how scholars measure innovation performance, pointing out the criticalities. Research limitations/implications – The paper allows analysing the empirical evidences found in the literature, emphasizing the limitations of the state of the art and recommending future directions of research. Practical implications – The systematization of the empirical evidences found in the European literature provides managers with useful strategic suggestions to improve their organizations’ innovation performances. Originality/value – The paper contains a complete and extensive analysis of empirical OI literature with respect to European countries. The articles and their findings are organized according to a novel taxonomy useful to identify evidences and recurrences in a synoptic manner.
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In recent years, there has been an increase in empirical and theoretical work that addresses the role of innovation as one of the main sources of firm growth. The purpose of this special issue is to strengthen the role played by innovation as a determinant of firm growth. Despite the emergence of a vast empirical literature on whether innovative firms grow more quickly in terms of sales and employees, a number of crucial questions and answers remain. While a large number of applied papers observe a positive link between innovation and firm growth, the complexity of R&D activities, together with the diversity of innovation strategies and the multiplicity of growth modes, requires a multidimensional approach to examine the contribution of innovations on firm growth. To shed light on the link between firm’ growth and innovation sources, we organized a meeting of leading scholars of firm’ growth and innovation. The papers of this special issue were presented at the workshop on ‘Firm growth and innovation’ held on 28 and 29 June, 2012, in Tarragona, Spain. The papers that compose this special issue deal in depth with innovation activity, firm growth and the interaction between firm growth and innovation.
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Organizations are increasingly encouraging their scientists and engineers to source knowledge externally. However, it is unclear how the openness of individuals to external sources of knowledge affects their ideation performance, that is, their ability to develop new, useful innovative ideas for their organization, and which factors might moderate this process. Drawing on theories of combinatorial search, and using a sample of 329 R&D scientists and engineers working in a large organization, we demonstrate that individuals' openness to external sources of knowledge is curvilinearly related to their ideation performance. Openness provides benefits such as alertness and variety which contribute to ideation up to the point where increasing integration and approval costs cause negative returns to set in. We also examine how the R&D time horizon, ties to senior managers, and the breadth of individual knowledge moderate the costs and benefits of openness to individuals. We explore the implications of these findings for managerial practice.
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This paper draws on the notion of network resources to examine the association between such resources, in the form of knowledge alliances, and the innovation performance of firms, as well as the extent to which the geographic location of network partners influences this performance. We find that innovation performance is associated with a combination of both network resources and the internal characteristics of firms. In particular, we find that regionally-based network resources are more strongly associated with superior innovation performance. Knowledge alliances with local rival firms and knowledge-intensive business service providers (KIBS) are most strongly associated with superior innovation performance. Our findings suggest that spatial proximity is significant for establishing effective knowledge alliances.
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Using a multi-stage research design and insights from organizational learning theory, we investigate how experience in R&D collaboration with different types of domestic and foreign partners (customers, suppliers, competitors) influences the formation of new R&D collaborations with foreign partners, and how such collaborations in turn affect firms’ innovative performance. Our framework, which is tested against a sample of 8800 firms over a 9-year period, explains how experience with certain types of domestic partners helps firms establish foreign collaborations, particularly with the same partner types. It further explains why experience in foreign collaborations is more important for the formation of new collaborations abroad in relation to experience with domestic partner types. Moreover, it shows that collaborations with foreign partners are more beneficial than domestic collaborations for a firm's innovative performance and identifies which types of foreign R&D partnerships are more advantageous for enhancing innovation performance. Finally, it demonstrates that the performance-enhancing advantages of foreign partnerships are not equal for all firms but are dependent on certain dimensions of absorptive capacity. The effect that foreign suppliers have on a firm's innovative performance is further enhanced if a firm has adopted appropriate organizational practices designed to enhance external collaboration and the internal dissemination of external knowledge. Finally, firms gain more from foreign competitors if they possess high levels of employee skills.
Radical innovations are an important factor for long-term economic growth. Universities provide basic research and knowledge that form the basis for future innovations. Previous research has investigated the effects of universities, university-industry partnerships and proximity on factors such as innovations, knowledge spillovers, entrepreneurial activities, as well as regional growth, wealth and competitiveness. However, the role that university-industry collaborations play in radical innovations, mediated by various measures of proximity such as cognitive or geographic distance, has not yet been explored. With this study, we illuminate the conditions under which university-industry collaborations are the key to radical innovations in German firms. Combining firm, patent and subsidy data, we built a data set consisting of 8404 firms that patented between the years 2012 and 2014. Based on the patent data, we identified the emergence of radical innovations by using new technology combinations as a proxy for (radical) novelty. As our main independent variables, we computed the cognitive distance of firms, universities and research institutions as well as the geographic distance between these partners. We identified formal relationships through publicly supported R&D collaborations between universities, firms, and research institutions using the German subsidy catalogue. Our research is vital for understanding the conditions under which university-industry collaborations contribute to the creation of radical innovations. While not only closing a research gap, this paper has practical ramifications for companies, universities as well as policy-makers by evaluating the concrete effects of university-industry collaborations on the probability to generate radical innovations.
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We integrate the institutional perspective with research on the governance role of private equity firms in an investigation of Founder-CEO successions in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in emerging markets. Using a unique, hand-collected and comprehensive sample of 191 firms having undertaken IPOs in 21 markets across the African continent between January 2000 and August 2016, we apply instrumental variable (IV) Probit methodology and find that higher levels of private equity ownership are positively associated with the probability of the founder's retention as CEO, especially in the context of low-quality formal institutions. Further, in societies with high tribalism, higher private equity ownership is associated with an increased likelihood of founder retention. Voids in the institutional architecture underscore the importance of the founder as a key organizational resource for the firm and a source of institutionalized legitimacy, which in turn confers on the firm an ability to access required resources.
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This study applies a systematic literature review and qualitative content analysis to identify and synthesize key factors that enable collaborative innovation between industry and universities. Using a keyword search in the Web of Science database, the review identified 40 papers that were frequently cited on the topic. Results were summarized into seven main themes or central factors stimulating collaborative innovation: resources, university organization, boundary-spanning functions, collaborative experience, culture, status centrality and environmental context. This article elaborates on these ‘enabling factors’ and uses them to summarize a number of results from the reviewed studies regarding facilitators of collaborative innovation. The discussion focuses on how these factors relate and the extent to which they are amenable to policy intervention.
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This systematic review establishes what is currently known and, more importantly, what is not known about knowledge transfer (KT) between UK universities and industries. The review focuses on four central measures related to university-industry (U-I) collaboration for KT that have been previously identified in the literature: motivations; activities; barriers; and outcomes. Different rationales underpin existing studies and we frame these using two perspectives: the sociopolitical perspective and the contextual perspective. To date studies with a sociopolitical perspective have largely focused upon 'motivations' to engage in U-I collaboration but largely from academics' perspectives and tangible activities and outcomes have been the foci of the contextual perspective on KT but these have rarely been sector specific. We discuss these and other major findings in terms of policy implications for future research funding. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
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Over the past couple of decades, public awareness about environmental issues and concern for environmental protection appears to have increased substantially in Canada as it has in many other countries. This research has two objectives: first, to empirically assess the factors affecting voluntary participation in activities to protect the environment in Canada and to determine if participation has changed from 2000 to 2010, and second, to contemplate whether a change in environmental participation over time might be considered evidence of changing preferences, and thus demand, for environmental protection. Analysis makes use of data from Statistics Canada’s 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2010 Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating used to estimate two IV probit models. Results suggest the likelihood of participating in environmental protection has increased over time providing a signal that preferences for environmental protection may have increased in Canada. Post-secondary education and social capital developed in youth have the largest impacts on the likelihood of participating. The results are expected to provide valuable information for public policy makers and environmental non-profit organizations.
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Business relationships as well as the wider embedding network provide firms with crucial resources for their resource base, thus the capabilities that allow firms to successfully manage (in) such business relationships and networks have been an important research focus for industrial marketing. This article contends that there exist important opportunities for further knowledge generation with regard to capabilities in business relationships and networks, and our objective is to motivate and derive important research directions. The (already vast) literature is often not focused and requires rigor and direction in line with developments in research on (dynamic) capabilities in the strategy literature to remain impactful. Our aims are therefore: (i) To outline what the current state of knowledge is in the substantive literature relating to capabilities in business relationships and networks. Based on this we identify certain gaps that provide initial guidance regarding future research directions. (ii) To extensively review the current discussions regarding (dynamic) capability theory in the strategy literature. Based on this we derive recommendations from the foundational theory for research on capabilities in business relationships and networks. Bringing together the identified gaps in the substantive literature and the recommendations based on the developments in the foundational theory, we (iii) single out specific research directions in studying capabilities in business relationships and networks. We thereby contribute to the existing literature by providing a foundation for theory consensus creation as well as theory extension.
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Purpose This paper aims to explore the relationship between Intellectual Capital (IC) and performance of public universities in emerging countries in order to identify patterns and provide recommendations that may turn the universities’ IC into development opportunities, in terms of research, innovation, and education. Design/methodology/approach The analysis targeted the whole population of the public universities in the Republic of Colombia. A cluster analysis, based on 5 performance variables, has been conducted. Then, the IC of the universities pertaining to the 3 resulting clusters have been compared. Subsequently, for each performance variable, the IC of above-average and below-average universities has been benchmarked. Findings The results of this study show how different aspects of IC are associated with University performance. Among the many, we found that universities should achieve a critical mass to obtain outstanding research and innovation results. The findings also identify the particular importance of both students and scholars international mobility programmes for most of the performance variables. Originality/value This paper proposes an innovative model to analyze the relationship between IC and university performance in emerging countries. The model identifies the association between the IC accrued in the universities and their capability of transferring it to the society under the form of science, innovation, and education.
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Business-to-business (B2B) and business network scholars have begun adopting an "ecosystem" approach to describe the increasing interdependence and co-evolution of contemporary business and innovation activities. Although the concept is useful in communicating these issues, the challenge is the lack of overall understanding of the added value of the approach, its particular theoretical logic, and its links to network management. This systematic review analyzes the usage of the ecosystem concept in B2B journals and its implications for network management. Common themes are distilled, the specific features of the ecosystem approach are examined, and four categories of the ecosystem approach are identified: (a) competition and evolution; (b) emergence and disruption; (c) stable business exchange; and (d) value co-creation. We also examine shifts in management opportunities and challenges related to these developments. Finally, we suggest a revised network management framework, where we address the implications of utilizing an ecosystem layer for the analysis, as well as using the ecosystem as a perspective in the management of business and innovation networks. Overall, this study contributes to the literature by providing a coherence-seeking, systematic outlook on the increasingly useful, but still nascent and ambiguously utilized ecosystem approach.
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Purpose Innovation projects are often risky and costly. But not all innovation projects lead to commercialisation; some are abandoned, and these abandoned innovation projects can be classified as a waste of resources. Therefore, this article studies the influence of different external sources and a firm's decision to abandon an innovation project. The aim is to provide a broader understanding of abandoned projects. Design/methodology/approach The data applied are quantitative data and the empirical background is the Danish Innovation Survey 2009. The sample consists of Danish manufacturing firms with 10 employees or more (N = 840). The results are based on logistic regression analysis. Findings Results reveal that firms should consider that the involvement of customers can lead them to abandon innovation projects. However, if firms combine customers with universities, it will decrease the likelihood of innovation projects being abandoned. A more in-depth analysis shows that the involvement of customers from ‘Europe’ (countries in Europe excluding Denmark) and the ‘US’ leads to innovation projects being abandoned while customers from ‘other countries’ (the rest of the world, including China and India) have the opposite effect. Originality/value The contribution is to the limited literature on abandoned innovation projects by suggesting that the type of external sources is a significant factor in firms’ decisions to abandon innovation projects. The article identifies that the involvement of certain external sources leads firms to decide to abandon innovation projects, and that the country of origin of the external sources is an important criterion to consider in relation to a firm’s decision to abandon innovation projects.
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Purpose Intellectual Property Protection Mechanisms (IPPMs) include a variety of methods suitable for protecting valuable intangible assets of companies and it is of great relevance to study how companies use these mechanisms to ensure the appropriability of innovation, in a context in which innovation is increasingly open. Indeed, there is a tension between the aim to share knowledge with external partners and the need to protect valuable know-how. This paper investigates the relationship among the use of IPPMs, open innovation and the innovation performance of companies. Design/methodology/approach The study is based upon a survey developed in 2012 conducted in Finland, Italy, Sweden and UK on 477 firms. Findings The study shows that IPPMs have an indirect impact on innovation performance, mediated by the degree of openness. More precisely, IPPMs positively influence the level of openness that, in turn, positively influences the innovation performance Originality/value The empirical analysis gives a contribution on two issues widely debated in the literature: the impact of IPPMs on innovation performance and the role of IPPMs as enablers or disablers of open innovation.
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Rising levels of childhood overweight and obesity represent a major global public health challenge. A number of studies have explored the association between childhood overweight and obesity and healthcare utilisation and costs. This paper adds to the literature by estimating the causal effect of child overweight and obesity status on use of general practitioner (GP) and hospital inpatient stays at two time points using instrumental variable (IV) methods The paper uses data from two waves of the Growing Up in Ireland survey of children when they are 9 and 13 years respectively and uses the biological mother’s body mass index (BMI) as an instrument for the child’s BMI. Our results demonstrate that child overweight and obesity status do not have a significant effect on healthcare utilisation for children when they are 9 years, but do have a large and significant effect at 13 years. Across all our models, the effects on both GP and hospital inpatient stays are found to be larger when endogeneity in childhood BMI status is addressed. Previous studies that did not address endogeneity concerns are likely to have significantly underestimated the impact of child overweight and obesity status on healthcare utilisation.
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Exploring new technological opportunities and reacting to environmental changes are key factors for firm perfor- mance. Collaborating with external partners, especially universities, is considered to be a powerful engine of technological development. However, there are several barriers associated with university–industry collaboration (UIC), such as divergent cultures and competing objectives. Previous studies show rather mixed effects regarding the purported benefits of UIC, and empirical evidence on the effects of UIC on technological newness of innova- tion is lacking. This study investigates whether and under which conditions UIC enhances the recombination of extant knowledge across technologies and facilitates the implementation of novel technologies at the firm level. The paper is based on the resource based view of the firm and analyzes the interaction between collaboration diversity and UIC intensity. This longitudinal analysis examines joint publications and the patent data of 318 technology-oriented companies from the S&P 500 Index in the years 1985–2007. This study focuses on technolog- ical newness as the dependent variable, defined as the extent to which new technology fields are discovered as a result of either exploration of completely new technologies or the novel combination of existing technology fields. Results show that UIC has a significant positive effect on technological newness, with a time lag of two years. The effect follows an inverted U-shaped pattern in UIC portfolios with high diversity, and a U-shaped pattern when diversity is low.
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Open innovation literature suggests that firms can improve their innovation performance by learning from different actors and, among them, universities, research institutes and innovation intermediaries can play a relevant role. However, the success of such collaborations is still debated. In particular, the firms' internal organisational context seems to be crucial when explaining the success or failure of open innovation: firms attempting to leverage partners' knowledge must design an appropriate internal organisation, made up of organisational practices and managerial mechanisms. Despite this assumption, the role of the firm's internal context in fostering the success of open innovation is poorly investigated, in particular in the case of scientific partners (such as universities and research centres). Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the relations among collaboration behaviour between a firm and scientific partners, managerial mechanisms and both sides of innovative performance (i.e. novelty and efficiency). Our study, based upon a survey research developed in Finland, Italy and Sweden, suggests that collaborations with scientific partners should be carefully managed, through the development and implementation of managerial mechanisms, in order to foster performance. These managerial mechanisms emerge just as the means (i.e. the mediator) through which the collaboration behaviour can foster innovative performance.
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Entrepreneurs are widely recognized for the vital contributions they make to economic growth and general welfare, yet until fairly recently entrepreneurship was not considered worthy of serious economic study. Today, progress has been made to integrate entrepreneurship into macroeconomics, but until now the entrepreneur has been almost completely excluded from microeconomics and standard theoretical models of the firm.The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurshipprovides the framework for introducing entrepreneurship into mainstream microtheory and incorporating the activities of entrepreneurs, inventors, and managers into standard models of the firm.William Baumol distinguishes between the innovative entrepreneur, who comes up with new ideas and puts them into practice, and the replicative entrepreneur, which can be anyone who launches a new business venture, regardless of whether similar ventures already exist. Baumol puts forward a quasi-formal theoretical analysis of the innovative entrepreneur's influential role in economic life. In doing so, he opens the way to bringing innovative entrepreneurship into the accepted body of mainstream microeconomics, and offers valuable insights that can be used to design more effective policies.The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurshiplays the foundation for a new kind of microtheory that reflects the innovative entrepreneur's importance to economic growth and prosperity.
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In this paper we analyse if specific R&D cooperation partners are related to an increase in the probability of innovation failures in terms discontinuing innovation projects. We distinguish between seven different R&D cooperation partner types, and we discriminate between product innovation failures and process innovation failures. Using German Community Innovation Survey data we find that, firstly, each type of R&D cooperation partner has a different effect on innovation failures. Secondly, we show that product innovation failures and process innovation failures are not affected in equal measure by the same type of R&D cooperation partner. Our results suggest that while R&D cooperation with public research institutes is significantly and negatively related to the probability to cancel a process innovation project, the coefficient is positive but insignificant for product innovation failures. Firms conducting partnerships with suppliers, however, run the risk of both product and process innovation failures. In turn, cooperation with competitors is positively correlated only to process innovation failures.
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Failure to innovate has been only recently recognized as one of the key elements in determining successful firms' innovative performance. However, as this literature focuses only on the determinants of firms' failure, it neglects the role of failure in spurring innovative activity. In this paper, the relationship between innovative performance and failure to innovate is empirically tested, through a two step econometric model, on the 2008 CIS Innovation survey dataset. The main results of the paper are, first, that failure is negatively correlated to the firms' experience (proxies by R&D), and to the acquisition of direct external knowledge (through productive links in product and process innovation). Indirect learning from the failures of similar firms is moderated by firms engagement in R&D and in searching for external knowledge. The second step reveals that failure in turn has a positive impact on performance in term of percentage of turnover from new to the market innovative products. Finally, an additional test is performed on still ongoing innovation (rather than abandoned), and the results show a minor impact on innovation activity.
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This paper aims to further our understanding of how the degrees of innovation novelty and innovation failure are connected. It argues that a better understanding of the specific predictors of innovation novelty and failure would improve our understanding of the innovation process and inform R&D managerial interventions to reduce the occurrences of failure and enhance radical innovation. This investigation draws on data on 5387 Spanish manufacturing firms from the 2009 Spanish Community Innovation Survey (CIS). Unlike prior studies which examine product innovation, degree of innovation novelty, and innovation failures in separate models, this study relies on a multivariate model to account for the extent to which these outcomes are interdependent. Overall, the results indicate that innovation effort and innovation failure are closely linked, especially if the innovation involves a significant level of novelty. These interdependencies are problematic since firms aspire to higher propensity for innovation and novelty; however, this higher propensity is accompanied by a higher probability of failure. Our empirical results identify a number of factors that contribute to enhancing innovation novelty while also attenuating the probability of innovation failure. These factors are: (i) R&D employees, (ii) research and institutional sources of information, (iii) contracting external R&D, and (iv) corporate social responsibility practices.
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To understand how firms facing technological discontinuities utilize knowledge from alliance portfolios, we unpack absorptive capacity into "latitudinal" and "longitudinal" components, corresponding to use of diverse and distant knowledge, respectively. We find that a moderate burden on firms' latitudinal absorptive capacity, corresponding to medium diversity in their portfolios, contributes to optimal knowledge utilization. Simultaneously increasing the demand on firms' longitudinal absorptive capacity affects this relationship negatively. Highlighting important trade-offs between latitudinal and longitudinal absorptive capacities, our findings reveal two portfolio strategies, "telescopic" and "panoptic" searches, that optimize knowledge utilization. We address important dialectics concerning absorptive capacity constraints and knowledge utilization.
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Universities are a key institution in the U.S. innovation system, and an important aspect of their involvement is the role they play in public-private partnerships. This note offers insights into the performance of industry-university research partnerships, using a survey of precommercial research projects funded by the Advanced Technology Program. Although results must be interpreted cautiously because of the small size of the sample, the study finds that projects with university involvement tend to be in areas involving new science and therefore experience more difficulty and delay, yet are more likely not to be aborted prematurely. Our interpretation is that universities are contributing to basic research awareness and insight among the partners in ATP-funded projects.
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It is unclear whether the common finding of improved organizational performance with increasing organizational experience is driven by learning from success, learning from failure, or some combination of the two. We disaggregate these types of experience and address their relative (and interactive) effects on organizational performance in the orbital launch vehicle industry. We find that organizations learn more effectively from failures than successes, that knowledge from failure depreciates more slowly than knowledge from success, and that prior stocks of experience and the magnitude of failure influence how effectively organizations can learn from various forms of experience.
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In this qualitative and inductive study, we examine population-level learning by addressing the effects of failure events on the nature and mix of routines in a population. We reviewed approximately 50 failures and near-failures in 33 industry histories to assess how they affected other organizations in the industry and practices in the industry as a whole. Findings suggest that these events affect practices enacted by other organizations, or population-level patterns of routines in three broad ways: (1) through direct consequences of failure, (2) through reactions to failure by other organizations, and (3) through consequences of reactions to failure. Our analysis suggests that failure events can be a powerful engine of population-level learning. The processes and outcomes of population-level learning are complex and can lead to results that were not intended and might harm the population. Finally, we argue that managers can benefit from using the processes involved in population-level learning from failure.
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This paper investigates the effects of multiplicative interaction between clustering and reach on members' knowledge creation and patent value based on complex network analysis in nanobiopharmaceuticals field. In order to avoid the high skew of patent value among patents, we use the weighted patent value as a proxy index of the invention's innovation performance rather than simple patent counts. The university-industry collaboration networks in the emerging and rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field are examined at firm-level. We further detect the impact of small world properties as well as the size of largest component on patent value and find that small-world structure has parabolical effect on patent value at firm-level. We add new evidence to the literature on this topic with an empirical investigation for the university-industry patent collaboration in the nanobiopharmaceutical field. The findings broaden and enrich the existing literature and can contribute to policy makers and relevant managers when making decisions for university and firm locality as well as the choices of the collaborators.
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Establishing deeper engagement with industry and society has recently become a key concern of universities. To pursue this goal, universities – as well as other Public Research Organizations (PROs) – have started to reorganize internal resources, to redefine their activities and policies, and to redesign their overall knowledge transfer (KT) business models. As a consequence, in several countries a wide heterogeneity exists in the types of KT models adopted and in the outcomes arising from KT activities. By performing a cluster analysis and a multinomial logit regression on an extensive dataset that almost covers the entire population of Italian universities, in this study we analyze (i) whether models of KT characterized by a broader engagement with society are gradually substituting models more focused on technology commercialization, and (ii) which factors related to the availability of resources and universities’ strategic intention better explain existing differences. Insights from the study might help university managers to define the most appropriate actions to fully undertake the implementation of the university Third Mission.
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This empirical study compares the determinants of innovation in manufacturing and services through descriptive and regression analyses of sales from innovative products and services. A particular focus is on the effects of R&D investments and breadth in knowledge sourcing and innovation objectives. The results suggest that, contrary to earlier research, R&D investments play a statistically and economically significant role in service innovation. We suggest that this results from the growing engagement of service firms in regular R&D activity. Both service and manufacturing firms also benefit from breadth in external knowledge sourcing strategies. In contrast, breadth in terms of pursuing parallel innovation objectives appears to have detrimental effects on innovation in service industries. We interpret the latter results through reference to service firms’ R&D management capabilities: Managing multiple innovation projects is challenging, and some service firms may not have accumulated the requisite managerial processes and capabilities to benefit from these strategies. The available data provide support for this conjecture. The detrimental effects of breadth in innovation objectives are significantly mitigated by regular R&D activities.
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This article analyses the challenging collaboration between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and knowledge institutions. The aim of the article is to shed light on the barriers, which hinder collaboration, and to investigate the particular role of research and technology organizations (RTOs) as potential mediators of collaboration between SMEs and universities. On the basis of a unique sample consisting of 151 SMEs, RTOs and universities from seven countries, the differences across dyads of potential collaborations are identified. In particular, the article finds that both firms and universities with collaboration experience with the other partner in general perceive higher barriers than inexperienced firms or universities. In terms of the mediating role of RTOs, the article illustrates that universities perceive lower barriers when collaborating with RTOs than with SMEs. A similar tendency to a mediating role of RTOs can be found among the SMEs' perception of university collaboration. Finally, the analysis shows that the knowledge institutions perceive the SMEs as very important collaboration partners, but the same sense of importance is not shared by the SMEs regarding collaboration with the knowledge institutions. Hence, there seems to be a quite unbalanced view on the potential of the collaborative ties, which is further discussed in the conclusion.
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This study investigates the impact of non-competition agreements on the type of R&D activity undertaken by companies. Non-competition agreements, by reducing outbound mobility and knowledge leakages to competitors, make high-risk R&D projects relatively more valuable than low-risk ones. Thus, they induce companies to choose riskier R&D projects, such that corporate inventions are more likely to lie in the tails of the inventions' value distribution (as breakthroughs or failures) and be in novel technological areas. This study uses data about U.S. patent applications from 1990 to 2000 and considers longitudinal variation in the enforcement of non-compete clauses. The results indicate that in states with stricter enforcement, companies undertake riskier R&D paths than in states that do not enforce non-compete agreements as strictly. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.