R&D cooperation, partner diversity, and innovation performance: An empirical analysis

  • Van Beers C
  • Zand F
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Existing literature on research and development ( R&D) alliances focuses on formation motives and performance impacts of these alliances but hardly on diversity of the partners' portfolio. Cooperation with a diverse set of partners leads to learning opportunities with regard to both cooperation and innovation skills and hence is expected to enhance the firm's innovation performance. This paper examines two research questions: (1) the impact of functional and geographical diversity of R&D partners on radical and incremental innovation performance of product innovating firms, and (2) the organizational determinants of partner diversity in R&D alliances. The empirical analysis is based on data from the Dutch Community Innovation Survey, R&D and Information and Communication Technology Surveys, and Production Statistics, which lead to a representative sample of 12,811 innovating firms in the period 1994-2006. Through random-effects panel Tobit estimates, econometric models for both research questions are estimated. The results indicate that functional and geographical diversity act through different channels. Functional diversity leads to a variety of knowledge intake and synergetic effects necessary to develop and commercialize novel products. Geographical diversity results in successful adaption of existing products to different local requirements such as technical standards, market regulations, and customer preferences. The organizational determinants of both kinds of partner diversity are prior experience, patenting, and information technology infrastructure. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Product Innovation Management is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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  • Cees Van Beers

  • Fardad Zand

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