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Knowledge Transfer in Buyer-Supplier Relationships – When It (Not) Occurs

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  • Werner Bönte
  • Lars Wiethaus

Abstract

Abuyer’s technical knowledge may increase the efficiency of its supplier.Suppliers, however, frequently maintain relationships with additional buyers. Knowledge disclosure then bears the risk of benefiting one’s own competitor due to opportunistic knowledge transmission through the common supplier. We show that in one-shot relationships no knowledge disclosure takes place because the supplier has an incentive for knowledge transmission and, in anticipation of this outcome, buyers refuse to disclose any of their knowledge. In repeated relationships knowledge disclosure is stabilized by larger technological proximity between buyers and suppliers and destabilized by the absolute value of the knowledge.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in its series RWI Discussion Papers with number 0034.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:dpaper:0034

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Related research

Keywords: Knowledge Transfer; Knowledge Spillovers; Cooperation; Innovation; Repeated Games;

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References

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  1. Gamal Atallah, 2000. "Information Sharing and the Stability of Cooperation in Research Joint Ventures," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-53, CIRANO.
  2. Gamal Atallah, 2000. "Vertical R&D Spillovers, Cooperation, Market Structure, And Innovation," Industrial Organization 0004009, EconWPA.
  3. Sattler, Henrik & Schrader, Stephan & Lüthje, Christian, 2003. "Informal cooperation in the US and Germany: cooperative managerial capitalism vs. competitive managerial capitalism in interfirm information trading," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 273-295, June.
  4. Milliou, Chrysovalantou, 2004. "Vertical integration and R&D information flow: is there a need for 'firewalls'?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 25-43, January.
  5. Keilbach, Max & Bönte, Werner, 2004. "Concubinage or Marriage? Informal and Formal Cooperations for Innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-11, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Lode Li, 2002. "Information Sharing in a Supply Chain with Horizontal Competition," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm288, Yale School of Management.
  7. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
  8. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  9. Kamien, Morton I. & Zang, Israel, 2000. "Meet me halfway: research joint ventures and absorptive capacity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 995-1012, October.
  10. Dietmar Harhoff, 1996. "Strategic Spillovers and Incentives for Research and Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(6), pages 907-925, June.
  11. Hau L. Lee & Kut C. So & Christopher S. Tang, 2000. "The Value of Information Sharing in a Two-Level Supply Chain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 626-643, May.
  12. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & JACQUEMIN, Alexis, . "Cooperative and noncooperative R&D in duopoly with spillovers," CORE Discussion Papers RP -823, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Harhoff, Dietmar & Henkel, Joachim & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Profiting from voluntary information spillovers: how users benefit by freely revealing their innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1769, December.
  14. Kamien, Morton I & Muller, Eitan & Zang, Israel, 1992. "Research Joint Ventures and R&D Cartels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1293-306, December.
  15. Kultti, Klaus & Takalo, Tuomas, 1998. "R&D spillovers and information exchange," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 121-123, October.
  16. Najib Harabi, 1998. "Innovation Through Vertical Relations Between Firms, Suppliers And Customers: A Study Of German Firms," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 157-179.
  17. Wiethaus, Lars, 2005. "Absorptive capacity and connectedness: Why competing firms also adopt identical R&D approaches," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 467-481, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Creane, Anthony, 2007. "Productivity information in vertical sharing agreements," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 821-841, August.

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