To cope with fast-changing business environments, firms are increasingly opening up their organizational boundaries to tap into external source of knowledge. By restructuring their R&D system, firms face the challenge of balancing internal and external R&D activities to profit from external knowledge. This paper examines the influence of R&D configuration on innovative performance and the moderating role of a firm's R&D capacity. The findings suggest that firms that increasingly rely on external R&D activities have a better innovative performance, yet up to a point. Beyond this threshold, a greater share of external R&D activities reduces a firm's innovative performance. And such substitution effect is larger for firms with greater R&D capacity. Overall, this paper provides a better understanding of the open innovation paradigm by suggesting that the opportunity cost for further opening up R&D borders is higher for firms with a superior technological knowledge stock. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
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