Optimal Cognitive Distance and Absorptive Capacity

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2006-33

31 Pages Posted: 22 May 2006

See all articles by Bart Nooteboom

Bart Nooteboom

Tilburg University - Center and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Wim Vanhaverbeke

Hasselt University; ESADE Business School

Geert Duysters

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS); University of Maastricht

Victor A. Gilsing

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS); Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Ministerie van Economische Zaken

Ad van den Oord

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS)

Date Written: April 2006

Abstract

In this paper we test the relation between cognitive distance and innovation performance of firms engaged in technology-based alliances. The key finding is that the hypothesis of an inverted U-shaped effect of cognitive distance on innovation performance of firms is confirmed. Moreover, as expected, we found that the positive effect for firms is much higher when engaging in more radical, exploratory alliances than in more exploitative alliances. The effect of cumulative RD turns out to be mixed. It may increase absorptive capacity, as expected, but there is clear evidence that it also reduces the effect of cognitive distance on novelty value.

Keywords: innovation, inter-firm alliances, cognitive distance, absorptive capacity, exploration and exploitation

JEL Classification: D21, L14, L22, L24, O31, O32

Suggested Citation

Nooteboom, Bart and Vanhaverbeke, Wim and Duysters, Geert and Gilsing, Victor A. and van den Oord, Ad, Optimal Cognitive Distance and Absorptive Capacity (April 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=903745 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.903745

Bart Nooteboom (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Center and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Wim Vanhaverbeke

Hasselt University ( email )

Agoralaan - building D
Gebouw D
Diepenbeek, 3590
Belgium
+3216623663 (Phone)
+3216623663 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://wimvanhaverbeke.be

ESADE Business School

Av. de Pedralbes, 60-62
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Geert Duysters

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) ( email )

Box 513
NL-5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands
+31 40 247 4646 (Fax)

University of Maastricht

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Victor A. Gilsing

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) ( email )

P.O. Box 513
NL-5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands
+040 247 4435 (Phone)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 4081945, 4081980 (Phone)
+31 10 4089015 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://web.eur.nl/fbk/dep/dep2/Staff/people/vgilsing

Ministerie van Economische Zaken ( email )

Bezuidenhoutseweg 20
Den Haag, 2594 AV
Netherlands
+31 70 354 3771 (Phone)
+31 70 379 7788 (Fax)

Ad Van den Oord

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) ( email )

NL-5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands

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