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Organizational Design of R&D Activities

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  • Stefan Ambec
  • Michel Poitevin

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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether R&D should be carried out by an independent research unit or be produced in-house by the firm marketing the innovation. We define two organizational structures. In an integrated structure, the firm that markets the innovation also carries out and finances research leading to the innovation. In an independent structure, the firm that markets the innovation buys it from an independent research unit which is financed externally. We compare the two structures under the assumption that the research unit has some private information about the real cost of developing the new product. When development costs are negatively correlated with revenues from the innovation, the integrated structure dominates. The independent structure dominates in the opposite case. Cet article analyse la décision de faire de la R&D, soit à l'interne, soit à l'externe. Deux formes organisationnelles sont définies. Dans la structure intégrée, la firme utilisant ou vendant l'innovation finance et effectue la R&D. Dans la structure indépendante, cette même firme achète l'innovation d'une firme de R&D indépendante. On compare les deux types d'organisations sous l'hypothèse que l'unité de R&D possède une information privilégiée sur le coût de développement de l'innovation. Lorsque les coûts de développement sont corrélés négativement avec les bénéfices de l'innovation, la structure intégrée domine. La structure indépendante domine dans le cas contraire.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2001s-38.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2001s-38

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Keywords: Contract theory; R&D; decentralization; Théorie des contrats; R&D; décentralisation;

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References

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  1. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Dearden, J. & Ickes, B.W. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "To Innovate Or Not To Innovate: Incentives And Innovation In Hierarchies," Papers 0-88-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
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  6. Qian, Yingyi & Xu, Chenggang, 1998. "Innovation and Bureaucracy under Soft and Hard Budget Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 151-64, January.
  7. Armour, Henry Ogden & Teece, David J, 1980. "Vertical Integration and Technological Innovation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 470-74, August.
  8. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
  10. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  11. Aghion, P. & Tirole, J., 1993. "On the Management of Innovation," Working papers 93-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
  13. Lerner, Josh & Merges, Robert P, 1998. "The Control of Technology Alliances: An Empirical Analysis of the Biotechnology Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 125-56, June.
  14. Tapon, Francis & Cadsby, Charles Bram, 1996. "The optimal organization of research: evidence from eight case studies of pharmaceutical firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 381-399, December.
  15. Paul Beaudry & Michel Poitevin, 1995. "Contract Renegotiation: A Simple Framework and Implications for Organization Theory," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 302-35, May.
  16. Bengt Holmstrom & Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Efficient and Durable Decision Rules with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers 495, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Beaudry, Paul & Poitevin, Michel, 1993. "Signalling and Renegotiation in Contractual Relationships," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 745-82, July.
  18. Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 1997. "Collusion under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 875-912, July.
  19. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dirk Bergemann & Ulrich Hege, 2001. "The Financing of Innovation: Learning and Stopping," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1292, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Versaevel, Bruno & de Villemeur, Étienne, 2003. "Conflict and Cooperation on R&D Markets," IDEI Working Papers 191, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. HEGE, Ulrich & BERGEMANN, Dirk, 2002. "The value of benchmarking," Les Cahiers de Recherche 752, HEC Paris.
  4. Bruno Amable & Régis Breton & Xavier Ragot, 2002. "Does the "New Economy" Change the Frontiers of the Large Corporation," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 68(1), pages 239-255.

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