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Strategic Sourcing of R&D: The Determinants of Success

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Author Info

  • Jacques Brook

    (Faculty of Strategy, Marketing and International Business, Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands.)

  • Albert Plugge

    (Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.)

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    Abstract

    The outsourcing of the R&D function is an emerging practice of corporate firms. In their attempt to reduce the increasing cost of research and technology development, firms are strategically outsourcing the R&D function or repositioning their internal R&D organisation. By doing so, they are able to benefit from other technology sources around the world. So far, there is only limited research on how firms develop their R&D sourcing strategies and how these strategies are implemented. This study aims to identify which determinants contribute to the success of R&D sourcing strategies. The results of our empirical research indicate that a clear vision of how to manage innovation strategically on a corporate level is a determinant of an effective R&D strategy. Moreover, our findings revealed that the R&D sourcing strategy influences a firm’s sourcing capabilities. These sourcing capabilities need to be developed to manage the demand as well as the supply of R&D services. The alignment between the demand capabilities and the supply capabilities contributes to the success of R&D sourcing.

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    File URL: http://web2.msm.nl/RePEc/msm/wpaper/MSM-WP2011-06.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2011
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Maastricht School of Management in its series Working Papers with number 2011/06.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: May 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2011/06

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    Related research

    Keywords: Sourcing strategies; R&D; outsourcing; capabilities.;

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    References

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    1. Dieter Ernst, 2000. "Inter-Organizational Knowledge Outsourcing: What Permits Small Taiwanese Firms to Compete in the Computer Industry?," Economics Study Area Working Papers 01, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
    2. Teece, David J., 1986. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 285-305, December.
    3. Narula,Rajneesh, 1999. "Choosing between internal and non-internal R&D activities: some technological and economic factors," Research Memorandum 022, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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