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Absorptive capacity and the reach of collaboration in high technology small firms


  • de Jong, Jeroen P.J.
  • Freel, Mark


The current paper is concerned with exploring the role of absorptive capacity in extending the reach of innovation-related collaboration in high technology small firms. Drawing on survey data from a sample of 316 Dutch high-tech small firms, engaged in 1245 collaborations, we explore the relationship between R&D expenditure and distance to collaboration partners. In general terms, we find most partners to be 'local'. However, controlling for a variety of potential influences, higher R&D expenditure is positively related to collaboration with more distant organizations. The implications of our results for policy, practice and future research are discussed.

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  • de Jong, Jeroen P.J. & Freel, Mark, 2010. "Absorptive capacity and the reach of collaboration in high technology small firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 47-54, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:47-54

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Maietta, Ornella Wanda, 2014. "The Roles of Research at Universities and Public Labs in Innovation Systems: a Perspective from the Italian Food and Drink industry," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182812, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Manuel Acosta & Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro & Daniel Coronado, 2016. "Access to Universities' Public Knowledge: Who is More Regionalist?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(3), pages 446-459, March.
    3. Kim, Youngok & Lui, Steven S., 2015. "The impacts of external network and business group on innovation: Do the types of innovation matter?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1964-1973.
    4. Savin, Ivan & Egbetokun, Abiodun, 2016. "Emergence of innovation networks from R&D cooperation with endogenous absorptive capacity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 82-103.
    5. Silvia Vicente-Oliva & Ángel Martínez-Sánchez & Luis Berges-Muro, 2016. "Enhancing The Outcomes In R&D Collaborative Projects: An Empirical Analysis Of The Middle Ebro Valley In Spain," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(07), pages 1-34, October.
    6. Chiara Franco & Alberto Marzucchi & Sandro Montresor, 2012. "Absorptive capacity, innovation cooperation and human-capital. Evidence from 3 European countries," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2012-05, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    7. Marina van Geenhuizen & Peter Nijkamp, 2011. "Knowledge Virtualization and Local Connectedness among Smart High-tech Companies," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-119/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Luca Berchicci & Jeroen P.J. de Jong & Mark Freel, 2013. "Remote Collaboration, Absorptive Capacity, and the Innovative Output of High-tech Small Firms," DRUID Working Papers 13-01, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    9. Mozhdeh Taheri & Marina Van Geenhuizen, 2011. "Learning networks of academic spin-offs - A spatial perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1661, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Abiodun Egbetokun & Ivan Savin, 2014. "Absorptive capacity and innovation: when is it better to cooperate?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 399-420, April.
    11. Tiago Soares & Samuel Pereira & Elísio Brandão, 2014. "The effects of R&D intensity and tax incentives on firms’ growth - empirical evidence from world's top R&D spending firms between 2003 and 2012," FEP Working Papers 540, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    12. repec:ttu:rebcee:92 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Tobias Scholl & Antonios Garas & Frank Schweitzer, 2015. "The spatial component of R&D networks," Papers 1509.08291,
    14. Briggs, Kristie, 2015. "Co-owner relationships conducive to high quality joint patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1566-1573.
    15. Gandal, Neil & Stettner, Uriel, 2014. "Network Dynamics and Knowledge Transfer in Virtual Organizations: Overcoming the Liability of Dispersion," CEPR Discussion Papers 9980, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:218-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Rune Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2013. "The geographical dimension of innovation collaboration: Collaboration and innovation in Norway," ERSA conference papers ersa13p878, European Regional Science Association.
    18. Masatoshi Kato, 2017. "Founders’ human capital and external knowledge sourcing: An absorptive capacity perspective for innovative start-ups," Discussion Paper Series 162, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jun 2017.
    19. Effelsberg, Martin, 2011. "Wissenstransfer in Innovationskooperationen: Ergebnisse einer Literaturstudie zur "Absorptive Capacity"," Arbeitspapiere 107, University of Münster, Institute for Cooperatives.
    20. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2015. "Networking, context and firm-level innovation: Cooperation through the regional filter in Norway," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1516, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised May 2015.
    21. Marina Van Geenhuizen & Qing Ye & Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira, 2015. "University spin-off firms? internationalization: Importance of skills," ERSA conference papers ersa15p644, European Regional Science Association.
    22. Barajas, A. & Huergo, E. & Moreno, L., 2012. "The Impact of International Research Joint Ventures on SMEs Performance," MPRA Paper 36306, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Nunes, Paulo Maçãs & Serrasqueiro, Zélia & Leitão, João, 2012. "Is there a linear relationship between R&D intensity and growth? Empirical evidence of non-high-tech vs. high-tech SMEs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 36-53.
    24. F. Stam & Neil Thompson & Andrea Herrmann & Marko Hekkert, 2011. "Innovation barriers for small biotech, ICT and clean tech firms:Coping with knowledge leakage and legitimacy deficits," Scales Research Reports H201115, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    25. Ornella Wanda Maietta, 2014. "Innovation Systems Research in the Italian Food Industry," CSEF Working Papers 358, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.


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