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Inter-firm Collaboration and Technology Development Partnerships Within US Manufacturing Industries


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  • David Angel
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    The paper examines the conditions under which firms enter into technology development partnerships with customers, suppliers and other firms. Three conceptual approaches to inter-firm collaboration are examined, namely: transactions costs theory; resource-strategy theories of the firm; and network theory. Drawing upon data collected in a mailed questionnaire survey of US manufacturing establishments in the chemical, electronics and instruments industries, I assess empirically various determinants of inter-firm collaboration in technology development. The empirical work suggests that large firms, and firms located in major urban centres, are more likely to enter into technology development partnerships. Firms located in a specialized industrial agglomeration do not demonstrate a greater propensity toward entering into technology development partnerships with customers, suppliers or other firms. Cet article cherche a examiner les conditions sous lesquelles les entreprises concluent des partenariats technologiques avec des clients, des fournisseurs ou d'autres entreprises. On examine trois facons conceptuelles d'aborder la collaboration inter-entreprise, a savoir des theories sur les frais de transactions, apropos de l'entreprise quant a sa strategie de ressources, et au sujet de la notion de reseaux. Puisant dans des donnees provenant d'un questionnaire aupres des etablissements dans la chimie, l'electronique et les instruments situes aux Etats-Unis, on evalue empiriquement divers determinants de la collaboration inter-entreprise technologique. Le travail empirique laisse supposer que les grandes entreprises, et les entreprises implantees dans les principaux centres urbains, sont plus susceptibles de conclure des partenariats technologiques. Les entreprises implantees dans des technopoles ne montrent pas une propension plus elevee a conclure des partenariats technologiques avec des clients, des fournisseurs ou d'autres entreprises. Der Aufsatz untersucht die Bedingungen, unter denen Firmen Partnerschaften mit Kunden, Lieferanten oder anderen Firmen zwecks Technologieentwicklung eingehen. Es werden drei begriffliche Ansatze zur zwischenbetrieblichen Zusammenarbeit untersucht: die Theorie der Transaktionskosten, die Theorie der Ressourcenstrategie und die Netzwerktheorie. Mit Hilfe von Daten fur die Untersuchung von Herstellerunternehmen der chemischen, elektronischen und Instrumentenbauindustrien in den USA werden verschiedene Bestimmungsfaktoren zwischenbetrieblicher Zusammenarbeit bei der Technologieentwicklung empirisch untersucht. Die empirische Studie deutet an, dass es grosse Firmen, und Firmen mit Standort in grosseren Stadtzentren sind, die Partnerschaften zwecks Technologieentwicklung eingehen. Firmen, deren Standort sich in spezialisierten Industrieagglomeraten befinden, zeigen keine auffallende Neigung, sich mit Kunden, Lieferanten oder anderen Firmen zwecks partnerschaftlicher Technologieentwicklung zu alliieren.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 333-344

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:4:p:333-344

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    Keywords: Innovation Technology; Development Regional; Networks Inter-FIRM; Co-OPERATION;


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    1. Oerlemans, L.A.G. & Meeus, M.T.H. & Boekema, F.W.M., 2001. "On spatial embeddedness of innovation networks: An exploration of the proximity effect," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-87465, Tilburg University.
    2. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-85, March.
    3. Reinhold Grotz & Boris Braun, 1997. "Territorial or Trans-territorial Networking: Spatial Aspects of Technology-oriented Cooperation within the German Mechanical Engineering Industry," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 545-557.
    4. Roberta Capello, 1999. "Spatial Transfer of Knowledge in High Technology Milieux: Learning Versus Collective Learning Processes," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 353-365.
    5. Mowery, David C. & Oxley, Joanne E. & Silverman, Brian S., 1998. "Technological overlap and interfirm cooperation: implications for the resource-based view of the firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 507-523, September.
    6. John Hagedoorn & Rajneesh Narula, 1996. "Choosing Organizational Modes of Strategic Technology Partnering: International and Sectoral Differences," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(2), pages 265-284, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christoph Hornych & Matthias Brachert, 2010. "Determinanten der Vernetzung von Unternehmen der deutschen Photovoltaik-Industrie," IWH Discussion Papers 20, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Franz Tödtling & Patrick Lehner & Alexander Kaufmann, 2008. "Do Different Types of Innovation Rely on Specific Kinds of Knowledge Interactions?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2008_01, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    3. Roel Rutten & Irawati Dessy, 2011. "Knowledge Creation In Temporary Regional Networks," ERSA conference papers ersa10p535, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Mark Freel & Richard Harrison, 2006. "Innovation and cooperation in the small firm sector: Evidence from 'Northern Britain'," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(4), pages 289-305.
    5. Franz Toedtling & Patrick Lehner, 2006. "Do Different Types of Innovation Require Specific Kinds of Knowledge Links?," ERSA conference papers ersa06p513, European Regional Science Association.


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