Network-independent partner selection and the evolution of innovation networks
AbstractEmpirical research on strategic alliances has focused on the idea that alliance partners are selected on the basis of social capital considerations. In this paper we emphasize instead the role of complementary knowledge stocks (broadly defined) in partner selection, arguing not only that knowledge complementarity should not be overlooked, but that it may be the true causal force behind alliance formation. To marshal evidence on this point, we design a simple model of partner selection in which firms ally for the purpose of learning and innovating, and in doing so create an industry network. We abstract completely from network-based structural and strategic motives for partner selection and focus instead on the idea that firms’ knowledge bases must “fit” in order for joint leaning and innovation to be possible, and thus for an alliance to be feasible. The striking result is that while containing no social capital considerations, this simple model replicates the firm conduct, network structure, and contingent effects of network position on performance observed and discussed in the empirical literature.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2009-23.
Date of creation: 2009
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Other versions of this item:
- Joel A. C. Baum & Robin Cowan & Nicolas Jonard, 2010. "Network-Independent Partner Selection and the Evolution of Innovation Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(11), pages 2094-2110, November.
- Baum, Joel & Cowan, Robin & Jonard, Nicolas, 2009. "Network-independent partner selection and the evolution of innovation networks," UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series 022, United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology.
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- 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
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-07-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-CSE-2009-07-03 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-INO-2009-07-03 (Innovation)
- NEP-KNM-2009-07-03 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-MIC-2009-07-03 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-NET-2009-07-03 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2009-07-03 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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.:
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UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series
022, United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology.
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