Cyclic Dependence, Vertical Integration, and Innovation: The Case of Japanese Electronics Sector in the 1990s
Technology Forecasting and Social Change, Forthcoming
29 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2016 Last revised: 5 Jan 2018
Date Written: September 1, 2017
The architecture of a firm’s network of transactions in its surrounding business ecosystem may affect its innovation performance. Here we proximate a business ecosystem as a transaction network among firms. Specifically, we analyze how the innovation performances of the firms are associated with their network positions and vertical structures in the transaction network, using the data for the Japanese electronics sector in the early 1990s. The results show that, a firm’s participation in inter-firm transaction cycles, instead of sequential transactional relationships, is positively and significantly associated with its innovation performance for vertically integrated firms. Within cycles, vertically integrated firms have better innovation performances than vertically specialized firms. Vertically integrated firms that participate in cycles have the best innovation performances in the Japanese electronics sector. These findings provide strategic implications and guidance for firms to design and manage their vertical structure and transaction network position.
Keywords: Vertical Integration, Innovation, Networks, Transaction, Supply Network
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