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External knowledge sourcing in biotechnology through acquisition versus alliance: A KBV approach

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  • Carayannopoulos, Sofy
  • Auster, Ellen R.
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    Abstract

    Knowledge sourcing is important for firms, especially in fast-paced industries. However, few studies explore the effects of knowledge-based predictors on the comparative choice of employing acquisitions versus alliances for sourcing external knowledge. This study extends the limited existing research on this topic. It simultaneously examines the effects of knowledge domain attributes, seeker and source experience-based knowledge, and dyad knowledge similarity and digestibility on whether a firm chooses an acquisition or alliance when sourcing external knowledge. Data is comprised of 209 research-driven acquisitions and alliances of biotechnology firms based in North America. Our findings reveal that external knowledge sourcing through acquisition is more likely when the knowledge domain is more complex and valuable. Acquisition is also preferred when the seeker has greater acquisition experience and when the source has accumulated a moderate level of alliance experience. Alliance, in contrast, is the chosen mode for accessing external knowledge when the knowledge is high in specificity and when the seeker has prior alliance experience. In addition, increasing similarity and digestibility of the dyad's knowledge bases strengthen the relationship between knowledge value and the probability of acquisition versus alliance. These results extend understanding of how firms decide to augment their knowledge resources in a knowledge-intensive industry. They also demonstrate that a multilevel KBV approach emphasizing knowledge characteristics uncovers important predictors of strategy and structure in research-driven organizations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 254-267

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:254-267

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: Knowledge Acquisitions Alliances Knowledge-based view Biotechnology;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Yuandi Wang & Zhao Zhou & Jason Li-Ying, 2013. "The impact of licensed-knowledge attributes on the innovation performance of licensee firms: evidence from the Chinese electronic industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(5), pages 699-715, October.
    2. Chiara Franco & Alberto Marzucchi & Sandro Montresor, 2011. "The "potential" face of absorptive capacity. An empirical investigation for an area of 3 European countries," Openloc Working Papers 1106, Public policies and local development.
    3. Francis Bidault & Thomas Hildebrand, 2012. "The distribution of partnerships benefits: Evidence from co-authorships in economics journals," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-12-08, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
    4. Bidault, Francis & Hildebrand, Thomas, 2014. "The distribution of partnership returns: Evidence from co-authorships in economics journals," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1002-1013.
    5. Woltering-Lamers, Philipp, 2011. "Die sequenzielle Organisationswahl: Kooperationen als Vorstufe von Akquisitionen," Arbeitspapiere 122, Westfälsche Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU), Institut für Genossenschaftswesen.
    6. Wua, Pei-Ju & Fenga, Cheng-Min & Pana, Ya-Chuan, 2011. "Decisions about entry modes for telecom companies into digital music business: An empirical case study," 8th Asia-Pacific Regional ITS Conference, Taipei 2011: Convergence in the Digital Age 52342, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    7. Peeters, T.J.G., 2013. "External knowledge search and use in new product development," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5906731, Tilburg University.
    8. Raphael Greiner & Siah Ang, 2012. "Biotechnology collaborations: does business model matter?," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 377-392, August.
    9. Marcela Miozzo & Lori DiVito & Panos Desyllas, 2011. "Cross-border acquisitions of science-based firms: Their effect on innovation in the acquired firm and the local science," DRUID Working Papers 11-17, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    10. Peng, Mike W. & Lee, Seung-Hyun & Hong, Sungjin J., 2014. "Entrepreneurs as intermediaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 21-31.

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