No Strings Attached: Examining the Relationship between Loosely Coupled Research Partnerships and Innovative Performance
Posted: 18 Apr 2013 Last revised: 19 Jan 2017
Date Written: Novemeber 18, 2013
The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the relationship between loosely coupled research partnerships — formal interorganizational agreements through which the in-sourcing firm accesses and adds knowledge from an external partner in exchange for money (e.g. royalties) — and innovation. More broadly, it is one of the first to identify some of the firm-level conditions that compensate for the inherent limitations of this type of research partnership, challenging the implicit assumption that they cannot bring substantial innovation benefits (i.e., generate innovations which are new to the industry). In particular, we illustrate that when firms have an orientation to experiment with knowledge and have slack resources and organizational attention available then loosely coupled partnerships can lead to innovation previously attributed exclusively to tightly coupled partnerships.
Keywords: Partnerships, Innovation, New Product Development
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