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The mechanisms of collaboration in inventive teams: Composition, social networks, and geography

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  • Bercovitz, Janet
  • Feldman, Maryann
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the composition of creative teams of academic scientists engaged in inventive activity. Our data provides a unique opportunity to explore the links between team composition and commercialization outcomes. We find that there are coordination costs associated with reaching across academic departments and organizational boundaries to build teams. However, we also find evidence of benefits due to knowledge diversity, particularly in the cases of truly novel combinations. In support of internal cohesion arguments, we find that performance improves with the experience of the team. In line with arguments regarding the value of diverse external networks, we find that teams that are composed of members from multiple institutions - focal university, other research institution, and/or industry - are more successful in generating patents, licenses, and royalties. Finally, we find that the presence of prior social ties supporting links with external team members positively influences commercial outcomes. We find that there is no benefit to proximity in team configuration.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 81-93

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:1:p:81-93

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

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    Keywords: Invention teams Academic scientists Team performance;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Mathies, Charles & Slaughter, Sheila, 2013. "University trustees as channels between academe and industry: Toward an understanding of the executive science network," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1286-1300.
    2. Olmos-Peñuela, Julia & Castro-Martínez, Elena & D’Este, Pablo, 2014. "Knowledge transfer activities in social sciences and humanities: Explaining the interactions of research groups with non-academic agents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 696-706.
    3. Grimaldi, Rosa & Kenney, Martin & Siegel, Donald S. & Wright, Mike, 2011. "30 years after Bayh-Dole: Reassessing academic entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1045-1057, October.
    4. Mark Lorenzen & Bo Carlsson, 2014. "Maryann Feldman: Recipient of the 2013 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 1-8, June.
    5. Tomohiro MACHIKITA & Yasushi UEKI, 2011. "Impacts of Incoming Knowledge on Product Innovation: Technology Transfer in Auto-related Industries in Developing Economies," Working Papers DP-2011-08, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    6. Baruffaldi, Stefano H. & Landoni, Paolo, 2012. "Return mobility and scientific productivity of researchers working abroad: The role of home country linkages," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1655-1665.
    7. Hong, Wei & Su, Yu-Sung, 2013. "The effect of institutional proximity in non-local university–industry collaborations: An analysis based on Chinese patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 454-464.

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