Researching Multilevel Phenomena: The Case of Collaborative Advantage in Strategic Management
13 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2012 Last revised: 31 Oct 2012
Date Written: March 8, 2012
A number of literatures in management, innovation studies, economic geography, and so on point to 'collaborative advantages' that can arise at multiple levels. We discuss conceptual, theoretical and methodological difficulties with this and related notions. Many of these difficulties stem from the multi-level nature of these constructs themselves, as well as from the fact that their antecedents and consequences may be located at multiple levels. Accordingly, this paper offers a condensed primer on multi-level conceptual and methodological issues pertaining to collaborative advantage in order to guide future research. We focus much of our discussion on a particular type of collaboration – strategic alliances among business firms – an area of research that plays a central role in strategic management, international business and organizational science. Despite this focus, most of the ensuing discussion applies equally well to other kinds of collaborations and we draw parallels to these where relevant.
Keywords: strategic alliances, multi-level theory and empirics, competitive, collaborative advantage
JEL Classification: C81, D21, M20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation