Firm dynamic governance of global innovation by means of flexible networks of connections
AbstractToday a plethora of inter-company alliances exists. Firms have networked value chains, disclosing consequently their strategy, which assets are internalized or externalized, and their ability to cope with fast change. The picture of all interfirm alliances in high tech sectors is that of an unstable complex network, or macrostructure, that evolves quickly and into which firms are differently entwined. Structural metrics borrowed from network research in sociology such as centrality and constraint (or lack of “structural holes”) can be used to assess dynamically a firm’s position in the macro structure and therefore the market: does the firm occupy a dominant or dominated position in an industry? How do its partners and competitors perform? Drawing also from recent theories on complex networks developed by statistical physicists, we show that firms are embedded in dynamic complex networks that have a ‘scale-free’ format, with only a few firms or “hubs” controlling the system, as well as a cohesive or ‘small-world’ structure. This small-world structure, which allows rapid diffusion of innovation along very short paths, also constrains firms continuously and can lead to a fast reversal of their position on the market. Taking as an example a major sector of the biopharmaceutical industry, this study offers insights for managers to assess effectively their environment and navigate under constant pressure within these ever-changing networks.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12525.
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Innovation Economics 2.2(2008): pp. 63-83
Innovation; alliances; structural holes; centrality; complex networks; small world;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-CSE-2009-01-10 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-KNM-2009-01-10 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-MIC-2009-01-10 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-NET-2009-01-10 (Network Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robin Cowan & Nicolas Jonard, 2008.
"If the Alliance Fits . . . : Innovation and Network Dynamics,"
Working Papers of BETA
2008-06, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
- Cowan, Robin & Jonard, Nicolas, 2008. "If the Alliance Fits . . . : Innovation and Network Dynamics," MERIT Working Papers 022, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- Abdelillah HAMDOUCH, 2008. "Conceptualizing innovation clusters and networks," Working Papers 3, Réseau de Recherche sur l’Innovation. / Research Network on Innovation.
- Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1994.
"A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks,"
1098, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Joel A. C. Baum & Andrew V. Shipilov & Tim J. Rowley, 2003. "Where do small worlds come from?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 697-725, August.
- Cowan, Robin & Jonard, Nicolas, 2004.
"Network structure and the diffusion of knowledge,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1557-1575, June.
- Gomes-Casseres, Benjamin & Hagedoorn, John & Jaffe, Adam B., 2006.
"Do alliances promote knowledge flows?,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 5-33, April.
- 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.
- Deeds, David L. & Hill, Charles W. L., 1996. "Strategic alliances and the rate of new product development: An empirical study of entrepreneurial biotechnology firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 41-55, January.
- Teece, David J., 1992. "Competition, cooperation, and innovation : Organizational arrangements for regimes of rapid technological progress," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-25, June.
- Dan Usher, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic Growth," Working Papers 145, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.