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Exploration and Exploitation in Technology-based Alliance Networks

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Author Info

  • Duysters, Geert

    ()
    (UNU-MERIT)

  • Vanhaverbeke, Wim

    ()
    (ECIS, Technical University Eindhoven)

  • Beerkens, Bonnie

    ()
    (ECIS, Technical University Eindhoven)

  • Gilsing, Victor

    ()
    (ECIS, Technical University Eindhoven)

Abstract

Although the literature converges regarding the reasons why and how networks of technology alliances are formed, there is still lack of agreement on what constitutes an optimal network structure, once it has been formed. The aim of this paper is to fill this void and to determine what constitutes an optimal network structure for exploration and exploitation within the context of technological innovation. We differentiate among a firm's direct ties, indirect ties and degree of redundancy and analyze their role in the pharmaceutical, chemical and automotive industry. Regarding the role of direct ties, in combination with indirect ties, we find two alternative alliance network structures that are effective for both exploitation and exploration. We also find that redundancy in a firm's alliance network has a positive effect on exploitation. This is not the case for exploration, however, which seems to reveal a new insight into the role of redundancy when firms explore new technological fields. A final point is that our findings remain largely invariant across the three industries, enhancing the generalisability of our results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 020.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2007020

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Keywords: Networks; Strategic Alliances; Innovation; Learning;

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  1. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Gilsing, V.A. & Nooteboom, B., 2005. "Density and Strength of Ties in Innovation Networks: An Analysis of Multi-Media and Biotechnology," Discussion Paper 2005-41, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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  12. Hagedoorn, John & Cloodt, Myriam, 2003. "Measuring innovative performance: is there an advantage in using multiple indicators?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1365-1379, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Sadowski, Bert & Sadowski-Rasters, Gaby & Duysters, Geert, 2007. "Transition of Governance in a Mature Open Software Source Community: Evidence from the Debian Case," MERIT Working Papers 039, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Wilfried Zidorn & Marcus Wagner, 2012. "Too Much of a Good Thing: The Role of Alliance Portfolio Diversity for Innovation Output in the Biotechnology Industry," DRUID Working Papers 12-10, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Jose Miguel Benavente & Daniel Goya, 2012. "The Economics of IP in the context of a Middle Income Country," Working Papers wp350, University of Chile, Department of Economics.

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