R&D Collaborations and Product Innovation
Journal of Product Innovation Management, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 30 May 2008
This article studies the relative impact on product innovation of R&D collaborations with universities, suppliers, customers, and competitors. It argues that each type of R&D collaboration differs in terms of the breadth of new knowledge provided to the firm and in the ease of access of this new knowledge, resulting in a different impact on product innovation. As a result, it proposes that R&D collaborations with universities are likely to have the highest impact on product innovation, followed by R&D collaborations with suppliers, customers and, finally, competitors. The tests find that R&D collaborations with suppliers have the highest positive impact on product innovation, followed by collaborations with universities. Surprisingly, R&D collaborations with customers do not appear to affect product innovation, and collaborations with competitors appear to harm it. Moreover, the positive influence of R&D collaborations with universities and suppliers is sustained over the long term, but the negative influence of R&D collaborations with competitors is, fortunately, short-lived. These findings indicate that ease of knowledge access, rather than breadth of knowledge, appears to drive the success of R&D collaborations for product innovation.
Keywords: R&D collaboration, product innovation, knowledge breadth, knowledge access, knowledge-based view
JEL Classification: O32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation