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Bilateral Collaboration and the Emergence of Innovation Networks

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Author Info

  • Robin Cowan

    ()
    (UNU-MERIT, University of Maastricht, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands)

  • Nicolas Jonard

    ()
    (CNRS, CREA, Ecole Polytechnique, 1 Rue Descartes, 75005 Paris, France)

  • Jean-Benoit Zimmermann

    ()
    (CNRS, GREQAM, EHESS, 2 Rue de la Charité, 13002 Marseille, France)

Abstract

In this paper, we model the formation of innovation networks as they emerge from bilateral decisions. In contrast to much of the literature, here firms only consider knowledge production, and not network issues, when deciding on partners. Thus, we focus attention on the effects of the knowledge and information regime on network formation. The effectiveness of a bilateral collaboration is determined by cognitive, relational, and structural embeddedness. Innovation results from the recombination of knowledge held by the partners to the collaboration, and its success is determined in part by the extent to which firms' knowledge complement each other. Previous collaborations (relational embeddedness) increase the probability of a successful collaboration, as does information gained from common third parties (structural embeddedness). Repeated alliance formation creates a network. Two features are central to the innovation process: how firms pool their knowledge resources, and how firms derive information about potential partners. When innovation is decomposable into separate subtasks, networks tend to be dense; when structural embeddedness is important, networks become cliquish. For some regions in this parameter space, small worlds emerge.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 1051-1067

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:7:p:1051-1067

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Related research

Keywords: networks; innovation; knowledge; collaborative R& D; embeddedness;

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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Mathijs De Vaan & Ron Boschma, 2013. "The dynamics of interfirm networks along the industry life cycle: The case of the global video game industry, 1987--2007," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 741-765, September.
  2. Feng, Bo & Fan, Zhi-Ping & Li, Yanzhi, 2011. "A decision method for supplier selection in multi-service outsourcing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 240-250, August.
  3. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2013. "Proximity and Innovation: From Statics to Dynamics," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1314, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2013.
  4. Abiodun Egbetokun & Ivan Savin, 2014. "Absorptive capacity and innovation: when is it better to cooperate?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 399-420, April.
  5. Cilem Selin Hazir & Corinne Autant-Bernard, 2012. "Using Affiliation Networks to Study the Determinants of Multilateral Research Cooperation Some empirical evidence from EU Framework Programs in biotechnology," Working Papers halshs-00697556, HAL.
  6. Ivan Savin & Abiodun Egbetokun, 2013. "Emergence of Innovation Networks from R&D Cooperation with Endogenous Absorptive Capacity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-022, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  7. Julian Dormann & Thomas Ehrmann & Michael Kopel, 2008. "Managing the Evolution of Cooperation," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2008-01, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  8. Petra Ahrweiler & Mark Keane, 2013. "Innovation networks," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 12(1), pages 73-90, June.
  9. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & José Antonio Belso-Martínez & Andrea Morrison, 2014. "The Dynamics of Technical and Business Networks in Industrial Clusters: Embeddedness, status or proximity?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1412, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Apr 2014.
  10. Widad Guechtouli, 2014. "Agent-based modeling of knowledge transfer within social networks," Working Papers 2014-148, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  11. Dorota Leszczynska, 2014. "La trajectoire organisationnelle et l’enracinement du savoir. L’étude de cas d’un cluster," Working Papers 2014-270, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  12. Feng, Bo & Fan, Zhi-Ping & Ma, Jian, 2010. "A method for partner selection of codevelopment alliances using individual and collaborative utilities," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 159-170, March.
  13. Kirkels, Yvonne & Duysters, Geert, 2010. "Brokerage in SME networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 375-385, April.
  14. Cilem Selin Hazir & Corinne Autant-Bernard, 2012. "Using Affiliation Networks to Study the Determinants of Multilateral Research Cooperation Some empirical evidence from EU Framework Programs in biotechnology," Working Papers 1212, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.

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