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External technology sources: Embodied or disembodied technology acquisition

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  • Bruno Cassiman
  • Reinhilde Veugelers

Abstract

This paper analyzes the choice between different innovation activities of a firm. In particular, we study the technology acquisition decision of the firm, i.e. its technology BUY decision as part of the firm's innovation strategy. We take a closer look at the different types of external technology acquisition where we distinguish two broad types of technology buy decisions. On the one hand, the firm can acquire new technology which is embodied in an asset that is acquired such as new personnel or (parts of) other firms or equipment. On the other hand, the firm can obtain new technology disembodied through a licensing agreement or by outsourcing the technology development from an R&D contractor or consulting agency. Through a series of Probit regressions, we discuss variables that might affect external technology acquisition choices of the firm and pay special attention to the firm's abilities to scan the market for technology and to absorb the technology acquired. Furthermore, we analyze the effect of different appropriation regimes on the decision of the firm to source technology.

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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 444.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:444

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

Related research

Keywords: Technology acquisition; innovation; appropriability; absorptive capacity;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  3. De Bondt, Raymond & Slaets, Patrick & Cassiman, Bruno, 1992. "The degree of spillovers and the number of rivals for maximum effective R &D," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 35-54, March.
  4. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "How to License Intangible Property," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 567-89, August.
  5. Utterback, James M & Abernathy, William J, 1975. "A dynamic model of process and product innovation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 3(6), pages 639-656, December.
  6. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-79, June.
  7. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-21, January.
  8. Veugelers, Reinhilde, 1997. "Internal R & D expenditures and external technology sourcing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 303-315, October.
  9. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  10. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1994. "Evaluating technological information and utilizing it : Scientific knowledge, technological capability, and external linkages in biotechnology," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 91-114, June.
  11. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Cassiman, Bruno, 1999. "Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 63-80, January.
  12. Granstrand, Ove & Sjolander, Soren, 1990. "The acquisition of technology and small firms by large firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 367-386, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Arbussa, Anna & Coenders, Germa, 2007. "Innovation activities, use of appropriation instruments and absorptive capacity: Evidence from Spanish firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1545-1558, December.
  2. Alvarez, Roberto & Crespi, Gustavo & Ramos, Joseph, 2002. "The Impact of Licenses on a "Late Starter" LDC: Chile in the 1990s," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1445-1460, August.
  3. Iain M. Cockburn & Megan J. MacGarvie & Elisabeth Müller, 2010. "Patent thickets, licensing and innovative performance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 899-925, June.
  4. Gombau, Verònica & Segarra Blasco, Agustí, 2011. "The Innovation and Imitation Dichotomy in Spanish firms: do absorptive capacity and the technological frontier matter?," Working Papers 2072/179666, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  5. Gombau, Verònica & Segarra Blasco, Agustí, 2011. "Innovation and absorptive capacity: What is the role of technological frontier?," Working Papers 2072/179622, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  6. Arbussà, Anna & Coenders, Germà, 2005. "Innovation strategies in the presence of technology markets: evidence from Spanish innovative firms," Working Papers of the Department of Economics, University of Girona 15, Department of Economics, University of Girona.
  7. Beneito, Pilar, 2003. "Choosing among alternative technological strategies: an empirical analysis of formal sources of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 693-713, April.
  8. Mercedes Teruel & Agustí Segarra, 2011. "Productivity and R&D sources in manufacturing and service firms in Catalonia: a regional approach," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1860, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Versaevel, Bruno & de Villemeur, Étienne, 2003. "Conflict and Cooperation on R&D Markets," IDEI Working Papers 191, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.

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