The Bright Side and Dark Side of Embedded Ties in Business-to-Business Innovation

51 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2011

See all articles by Corine Noordhoff

Corine Noordhoff

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kyriakos Kyriakopoulos

Maastricht University - Department of Marketing

Christine Moorman

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Pieter Pauwels

Hasselt University

Benedict G. C. Dellaert

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: March 21, 2011

Abstract

While the number and importance of joint innovation projects between suppliers and their customers continue to rise, the literature has yet to resolve a key question — do embedded ties with customers help or hurt supplier innovation? Drawing on both the tie strength and knowledge literatures, we theorize that embedded ties interact with supplier and customer innovation knowledge to influence supplier innovation. In a sample of 157 Dutch business-to-business innovation relationships, we observe that embedded ties weaken how much suppliers benefit from customer innovation knowledge due to worries about customer opportunism (the dark side of embedded ties). However, we uncover three moderating relationship and governance features that allow suppliers to overcome these dark-side effects and even increase innovation (the bright side of embedded ties). Finally, although we predicted a bright-side effect, we find that embedded ties neither help nor hurt the supplier to leverage its own innovation knowledge in the relationship.

Keywords: embedded ties, knowledge, business-to-business partnerships, innovation, co-creation, dark side, bright side

JEL Classification: C44, M31, M

Suggested Citation

Noordhoff, Corine and Kyriakopoulos, Kyriakos and Moorman, Christine and Pauwels, Pieter and Dellaert, Benedict G. C., The Bright Side and Dark Side of Embedded Ties in Business-to-Business Innovation (March 21, 2011). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2011-008-MKT. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1795818

Corine Noordhoff (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Kyriakos Kyriakopoulos

Maastricht University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Maastricht NL, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31 43 3883855 (Phone)

Christine Moorman

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

United States
919.660.7856 (Phone)
919.681-6245 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.duke.edu/~moorman

Pieter Pauwels

Hasselt University ( email )

Agoralaan - building D
Gebouw D
Diepenbeek, 3590
Belgium

Benedict G. C. Dellaert

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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