R&D intensity, value appropriation and integration patterns within organizational boundaries
Complementary insights from Transaction Cost Economics (TCE) and the Resource-Based View (RBV) of the firm are combined to predict the relationship between firm specific technological knowledge and patterns of integration within organizational boundaries. The findings show that the level of Research and Development (R&D) intensity (representing the creation of firm specific technological knowledge) has an inverted U-shaped relationship with the propensity of firms to integrate activities within organizational boundaries. At low levels of R&D intensity, firms' propensity to integrate their activities is low, but increases with escalating levels of R&D intensity in order to avoid the misappropriation of value generated by technological knowledge. However, beyond a certain R&D intensity level, the propensity to integrate activities declines, since the level of technological knowledge is high enough to prevent imitation by third parties. As expected we further find that firms which follow this integration pattern outperform those which do not. As the level of R&D intensity increases, the integration of production and marketing activities enables firms to improve performance until a certain R&D intensity threshold, after which such integration negatively affects performance.
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