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From wires to partners: How the Internet has fostered R&D collaborations within firms

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  • Chris CM Forman
  • Nicolas van Zeebroeck

Abstract

How did the diffusion of the Internet influence research collaborations within firms? We examine the relationship between business use of basic Internet technology and the size and geographic composition of industrial research teams between 1992 and 1998. We find robust empirical evidence that basic Internet adoption is associated with an increased likelihood of collaborative patents from geographically dispersed teams. On the contrary, we find no evidence of such a link between Internet adoption and within-location collaborative patents, nor do we find any evidence of a relationship between basic Internet and single-inventor patents. We interpret these results as evidence that adoption of basic Internet significantly reduced the coordination costs of research teams, but find little evidence that a drop in the costs of shared resource access significantly improved research productivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/105990.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Publication status: Published in: Management science (2012) v.58 n° 8,p.1549-1568
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/105990

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Keywords: R&D organization; geography of innovation; internet adoption; IT;

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Cited by:
  1. Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2014. "Information Technology and the Distribution of Inventive Activity," NBER Working Papers 20036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Annamaria Conti & Christopher C. Liu, 2013. "The (Changing) Knowledge Production Function: Evidence from the MIT Department of Biology from 1970-2000," NBER Chapters, in: The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jason Chan & Anindya Ghose & Robert Seamans, 2013. "The Internet and Hate Crime: Offline Spillovers from Online Access," Working Papers 13-02, NET Institute.
  4. Annamaria Conti & Christopher C. Liu, 2014. "The (Changing) Knowledge Production Function: Evidence from the MIT Department of Biology for 1970-2000," NBER Working Papers 20037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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