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Complementarity between technology make and buy in innovation strategies: Evidence from Belgiam manufacturing firms

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Author Info

  • Bruno Cassiman
  • Reinhilde Veugelers

Abstract

This paper characterizes the innovation strategy of manufacturing firms and examines the relation between the innovation strategy and important industry-, firm- and innovation-specific characteristics using Belgian data from the Eurostat Community Innovation Survey. In addition to important size effects explaining innovation, we find that high perceived risks and costs and low appropriability of innovations do not discourage innovation, but rather determine how the innovation sourcing strategy is chosen. With respect to the determinants of the decision of the innovative firm to produce technology itself (Make) or to source technology externally (Buy), we find that small firms are more likely restrict their innovation strategy to an exclusive make or buy strategy, while large firms are more likely to combine both internal and external knowledge acquisition in their innovation strategy. An interesting result that highlights the complementary nature of the Make and Buy decisions, is that, controlled for firm size, companies for which internal information is an important source for innovation are more likely to combine internal and external sources of technology. We find this to be evidence of the fact that in-house R&D generates the necessary absorptive capacity to profit from external knowledge acquisition. Also the effectiveness of different mechanisms to appropriate the benefits of innovations and the internal organizational resistance against change are important determinants of the firm's technology sourcing strategy.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/279.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 279.

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Date of creation: Feb 1998
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:279

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

Related research

Keywords: Innovation; research and development; make or buy decision; complementarity;

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References

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  1. Schmookler, Jacob, 1962. "Economic Sources of Inventive Activity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(01), pages 1-20, March.
  2. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, 1996. "Scale, Scope, and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 32-59, Spring.
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  7. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gans, Joshua, 1968- & Stern, Scott, 1969-, 1998. "Incumbency and R&D incentives : licensing the gale of creative distruction," Working papers WP 4008-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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  13. 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.
  14. Ulset, Svein, 1996. "R&D outsourcing and contractual governance: An empirical study of commercial R&D projects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 63-82, July.
  15. Evangelista, Rinaldo & Perani, Giulio & Rapiti, Fabio & Archibugi, Daniele, 1997. "Nature and impact of innovation in manufacturing industry: some evidence from the Italian innovation survey," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 521-536, December.
  16. Veugelers, Reinhilde, 1997. "Internal R & D expenditures and external technology sourcing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 303-315, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Jordan, Gary & Segelod, Esbjörn, 2002. "Software Innovativeness - Knowledge Acquisition, External Linkages and Firm Developmental Processes," FE rapport 2002-392, University of Gothenburg, Department of Business Administration.

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