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Technology sourcing by large incumbents through acquisition of small firms

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  • Marcus Wagner

Abstract

Innovation activities in high technology industries provide considerable challenges for technology and innovation management. In particular, since these industries have a long history of radical innovations taking place through distinct industry cycles of higher and lower demand, firms frequently consider the option to use acquisitions as a means for technology sourcing. The paper investigates this behaviour for three high technology industries, namely semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology and electronic design automation which is a specific sub-segment of the semiconductor industry. It analyses the association of firm characteristics with different aspects of acquisition behaviour with a particular focus being put on innovation-related firm characteristics. The paper confirms a substitutive relationship between acquisitions and own research activities as well as between own and acquired firm patenting, but also finds that firm size, financial conditions and geographical origin of the firm matter for acquisition behaviour.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2008-055.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2008-055

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Keywords: Acquisition; innovation; high technology; quantitative methods; research; R&D;

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  1. Puranam, Phanish & Singh, Harbir & Zollo, Maurizio, 2003. "A Bird in the Hand or Two in the Bush?: Integration Trade-offs in Technology-grafting Acquisitions," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 179-184, April.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2006. "The market value of patents and R&D: Evidence from European firms," KITeS Working Papers 186, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2006.
  3. Joshua S. Gans & David H. Hsu & Scott Stern, 2002. "When Does Start-Up Innovation Spur the Gale of Creative Destruction?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 571-586, Winter.
  4. Hoetker, Glenn, 2002. "How Much You Know versus How Well I Know You: Selecting a Supplier for a Technically Innovative Component," Working Papers 02-0106, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  5. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Cassiman, Bruno, 1999. "Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 63-80, January.
  6. John Hagedoorn, 2002. "External Sources of Innovative Capabilities: The Preferences for Strategic Alliances or Mergers and Acquisitions," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 167-188, 03.
  7. 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.
  8. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  9. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
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