IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/tefoso/v178y2022ics0040162522001196.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How to Benefit from Balancing External Knowledge Acquisition? A Chinese EIT Industry Case

Author

Listed:
  • SUN, Yu-tao
  • ZHANG, Chen
  • WANG, Jin-min

Abstract

This paper develops an integrated framework and examines how the implicit property-knowledge heterogeneity, acquisition costs and interactivity embedded in external knowledge acquisition (EKA) affect firms’ innovation performance. This is done by distinguishing three forms of EKA, including patent backward citations, patent collaboration and patent purchase. This research contributes to the existing EKA and open innovation literatures by studying whether EKA and internal R&D serve as substitutes or complements for firms’ innovation performance. Using a sample of 77 publicly listed firms in the electronic and information technology (EIT) industries of mainland China, with panel data collected from 2004 to 2016, this study has reached the following new findings: First, EKA both through patent backward citations and patent collaboration have significantly positive effects on firms’ innovation performance; the effect of patent purchase is not significant. Second, EKA through patent backward citations complements firms’ internal R&D, but EKA both through patent collaboration and patent purchase act as substitutes for internal R&D. Third, an inverted U-shaped relationship exists between the level of balance among the three different forms of EKA and firms’ innovation performance. Finally, contingent interaction effects exist between the level of balance among the three different forms of EKA and internal R&D on firms’ innovation performance. A complementary relationship exists with the internal R&D when firms have a high level of balance among three different forms of EKA. However, a substitution relationship exists with the internal R&D when firms have a low level of balance among the three different forms of EKA.

Suggested Citation

  • SUN, Yu-tao & ZHANG, Chen & WANG, Jin-min, 2022. "How to Benefit from Balancing External Knowledge Acquisition? A Chinese EIT Industry Case," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 178(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:178:y:2022:i:c:s0040162522001196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2022.121587
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162522001196
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.techfore.2022.121587?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Juan Alcácer & Michelle Gittelman, 2006. "Patent Citations as a Measure of Knowledge Flows: The Influence of Examiner Citations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 774-779, November.
    2. Todd Watkins & Lolita Paff, 2009. "Absorptive capacity and R&D tax policy: Are in-house and external contract R&D substitutes or complements?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 207-227, August.
    3. James A. Robins & Margarethe F. Wiersema, 2003. "The measurement of corporate portfolio strategy: analysis of the content validity of related diversification indexes," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 39-59, January.
    4. Christoph Grimpe & Ulrich Kaiser, 2010. "Balancing Internal and External Knowledge Acquisition: The Gains and Pains from R&D Outsourcing," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(8), pages 1483-1509, December.
    5. Kevin Campbell & Antonio Mínguez-Vera, 2008. "Gender Diversity in the Boardroom and Firm Financial Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 435-451, December.
    6. Margarethe F. Wiersema & Harry P. Bowen, 2009. "The use of limited dependent variable techniques in strategy research: issues and methods," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(6), pages 679-692, June.
    7. Gerard George & Reddi Kotha & Yanfeng Zheng, 2008. "Entry into Insular Domains: A Longitudinal Study of Knowledge Structuration and Innovation in Biotechnology Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(8), pages 1448-1474, December.
    8. Zheng, Dan & Shi, Minjun, 2018. "Industrial land policy, firm heterogeneity and firm location choice: Evidence from China," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 58-67.
    9. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Gagliardi, Luisa, 2018. "The innovative performance of firms in heterogeneous environments: The interplay between external knowledge and internal absorptive capacities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 782-795.
    10. Xia Gao & Xi Guo & Jiancheng Guan, 2014. "An analysis of the patenting activities and collaboration among industry-university-research institutes in the Chinese ICT sector," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 98(1), pages 247-263, January.
    11. Yuandi Wang & Xiongfeng Pan & Yantai Chen & Xin Gu, 2013. "Do references in transferred patent documents signal learning opportunities for the receiving firms?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 95(2), pages 731-752, May.
    12. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Yann Ménière & Myra Mohnen, 2017. "International patent families: from application strategies to statistical indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(2), pages 793-828, May.
    13. Müller, Julian Marius & Buliga, Oana & Voigt, Kai-Ingo, 2018. "Fortune favors the prepared: How SMEs approach business model innovations in Industry 4.0," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 2-17.
    14. Hagedoorn, John, 2002. "Inter-firm R&D partnerships: an overview of major trends and patterns since 1960," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 477-492, May.
    15. Jennifer H. Chen & Shihmin Lo & Show-Ling Jang & Chi-Cho Huang, 2012. "Strategic partnership and its effect on external learning of technology descendants," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 92(1), pages 157-179, July.
    16. Yutao Sun & Kai Liu, 2016. "Proximity effect, preferential attachment and path dependence in inter-regional network: a case of China’s technology transaction," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(1), pages 201-220, July.
    17. Suman Lodh & Maria Rosa Battaggion, 2015. "Technological breadth and depth of knowledge in innovation: the role of mergers and acquisitions in biotech," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 383-415.
    18. Stolpe, Michael, 2002. "Determinants of knowledge diffusion as evidenced in patent data: the case of liquid crystal display technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1181-1198, September.
    19. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
    20. Alessia Sammarra & Lucio Biggiero, 2008. "Heterogeneity and Specificity of Inter‐Firm Knowledge Flows in Innovation Networks," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 800-829, June.
    21. Peter J. Lane & Michael Lubatkin, 1998. "Relative absorptive capacity and interorganizational learning," Post-Print hal-02311860, HAL.
    22. Jaider Vega-Jurado & Antonio Gutiérrez-Gracia & Ignacio Fernández-de-Lucio, 2009. "Does external knowledge sourcing matter for innovation? Evidence from the Spanish manufacturing industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 637-670, August.
    23. Qing Cao & Eric Gedajlovic & Hongping Zhang, 2009. "Unpacking Organizational Ambidexterity: Dimensions, Contingencies, and Synergistic Effects," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(4), pages 781-796, August.
    24. Denicolai, Stefano & Ramirez, Matias & Tidd, Joe, 2016. "Overcoming the false dichotomy between internal R&D and external knowledge acquisition: Absorptive capacity dynamics over time," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 57-65.
    25. Suh, Yongyoon & Jeon, Jeonghwan, 2019. "Monitoring patterns of open innovation using the patent-based brokerage analysis," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 595-605.
    26. Stefan Wagner & Karin Hoisl & Grid Thoma, 2014. "Overcoming localization of knowledge — the role of professional service firms," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(11), pages 1671-1688, November.
    27. Wang, Chun-Chieh & Sung, Hui-Yun & Chen, Dar-Zen & Huang, Mu-Hsuan, 2017. "Strong ties and weak ties of the knowledge spillover network in the semiconductor industry," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 114-127.
    28. Zhang, Guiyang & Tang, Chaoying, 2017. "How could firm's internal R&D collaboration bring more innovation?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 299-308.
    29. Belderbos, René & Cassiman, Bruno & Faems, Dries & Leten, Bart & Van Looy, Bart, 2014. "Co-ownership of intellectual property: Exploring the value-appropriation and value-creation implications of co-patenting with different partners," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 841-852.
    30. Lyu, Yibo & He, Binyuan & Zhu, Yuqing & Li, Li, 2019. "Network embeddedness and inbound open innovation practice: The moderating role of technology cluster," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 12-24.
    31. Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January.
    32. Flor, M. Luisa & Cooper, Sarah Y. & Oltra, María J., 2018. "External knowledge search, absorptive capacity and radical innovation in high-technology firms," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 183-194.
    33. Nathan Rosenberg, 1975. "Problems in the Economist's Conceptualization of Technological Innovation," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 7(4), pages 456-481, Winter.
    34. Yun, JinHyo Joseph & Won, DongKyu & Jeong, EuiSeob & Park, KyungBae & Yang, JeongHo & Park, JiYoung, 2016. "The relationship between technology, business model, and market in autonomous car and intelligent robot industries," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 142-155.
    35. Hagedoorn, John & Wang, Ning, 2012. "Is there complementarity or substitutability between internal and external R&D strategies?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1072-1083.
    36. Loet Leydesdorff, 2018. "Diversity and interdisciplinarity: how can one distinguish and recombine disparity, variety, and balance?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 116(3), pages 2113-2121, September.
    37. Jasjit Singh, 2005. "Collaborative Networks as Determinants of Knowledge Diffusion Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(5), pages 756-770, May.
    38. Andrew C. Inkpen, 2000. "Learning Through Joint Ventures: A Framework Of Knowledge Acquisition," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(7), pages 1019-1044, November.
    39. Briggs, Kristie, 2015. "Co-owner relationships conducive to high quality joint patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1566-1573.
    40. Keld Laursen & Francesca Masciarelli & Andrea Prencipe, 2012. "Regions Matter: How Localized Social Capital Affects Innovation and External Knowledge Acquisition," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 177-193, February.
    41. Vincent L. Barker Iii & Irene M. Duhaime, 1997. "Strategic Change In The Turnaround Process: Theory And Empirical Evidence," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 13-38, January.
    42. Brian Uzzi & Ryon Lancaster, 2003. "Relational Embeddedness and Learning: The Case of Bank Loan Managers and Their Clients," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 383-399, April.
    43. Marco, Antonio De & Scellato, Giuseppe & Ughetto, Elisa & Caviggioli, Federico, 2017. "Global markets for technology: Evidence from patent transactions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(9), pages 1644-1654.
    44. Noseleit, Florian & de Faria, Pedro, 2013. "Complementarities of internal R&D and alliances with different partner types," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 2000-2006.
    45. Inchae Park & Yujin Jeong & Byungun Yoon, 2017. "Analyzing the value of technology based on the differences of patent citations between applicants and examiners," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(2), pages 665-691, May.
    46. Helena Yli‐Renko & Erkko Autio & Harry J. Sapienza, 2001. "Social capital, knowledge acquisition, and knowledge exploitation in young technology‐based firms," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(6‐7), pages 587-613, June.
    47. Christoph Grimpe & Ulrich Kaiser, 2010. "Balancing Internal and External Knowledge Acquisition: The Gains and Pains from R&D Outsourcing," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(8), pages 1483-1509, December.
    48. Schoenmakers, Wilfred & Duysters, Geert, 2010. "The technological origins of radical inventions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1051-1059, October.
    49. Marco-Lajara, Bartolomé & Claver-Cortés, Enrique & Úbeda-García, Mercedes & García-Lillo, Francisco & Zaragoza-Sáez, Patrocinio Carmen, 2019. "The role of internal knowledge generation and external knowledge acquisition in tourist districts," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 767-776.
    50. Yu-tao Sun & Feng-chao Liu, 2013. "Measuring international trade-related technology spillover: a composite approach of network analysis and information theory," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 94(3), pages 963-979, March.
    51. Wirsich, Alexander & Kock, Alexander & Strumann, Christoph & Schultz, Carsten, 2016. "Effects of University Industry Collaboration on Technological Newness," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 85098, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    52. Gkypali, Areti & Filiou, Despoina & Tsekouras, Kostas, 2017. "R&D collaborations: Is diversity enhancing innovation performance?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 143-152.
    53. Martin, Xavier & Mitchell, Will, 1998. "The influence of local search and performance heuristics on new design introduction in a new product market," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 753-771, April.
    54. Kafouros, Mario & Wang, Chengqi & Piperopoulos, Panagiotis & Zhang, Mingshen, 2015. "Academic collaborations and firm innovation performance in China: The role of region-specific institutions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 803-817.
    55. Berchicci, Luca, 2013. "Towards an open R&D system: Internal R&D investment, external knowledge acquisition and innovative performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 117-127.
    56. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2006. "In Search of Complementarity in Innovation Strategy: Internal R& D and External Knowledge Acquisition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 68-82, January.
    57. Sun, Yutao, 2016. "The structure and dynamics of intra- and inter-regional research collaborative networks: The case of China (1985–2008)," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 70-82.
    58. Kevin Zheng Zhou & Caroline Bingxin Li, 2012. "How knowledge affects radical innovation: Knowledge base, market knowledge acquisition, and internal knowledge sharing," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(9), pages 1090-1102, September.
    59. Kuen-Hung Tsai & Hui-Chen Chang, 2008. "The Contingent Value of Inward Technology Licensing on the Performance of Small High-Technology Firms," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 88-98, July.
    60. Moaniba, Igam M. & Lee, Pei-Chun & Su, Hsin-Ning, 2020. "How does external knowledge sourcing enhance product development? Evidence from drug commercialization," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    61. Shaker A. Zahra & Harry J. Sapienza & Per Davidsson, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and Dynamic Capabilities: A Review, Model and Research Agenda," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 917-955, June.
    62. Frank T. Rothaermel & Andrew M. Hess, 2007. "Building Dynamic Capabilities: Innovation Driven by Individual-, Firm-, and Network-Level Effects," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(6), pages 898-921, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Julio Diéguez-Soto & María J. Martínez-Romero, 2019. "Family Involvement in Management and Product Innovation: The Mediating Role of R&D Strategies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(7), pages 1-24, April.
    2. Caloghirou, Yannis & Giotopoulos, Ioannis & Kontolaimou, Alexandra & Korra, Efthymia & Tsakanikas, Aggelos, 2021. "Industry-university knowledge flows and product innovation: How do knowledge stocks and crisis matter?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(3).
    3. Fernando Muñoz-Bullón & Maria J. Sanchez-Bueno & Alfredo De Massis, 2020. "Combining Internal and External R&D: The Effects on Innovation Performance in Family and Nonfamily Firms," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 44(5), pages 996-1031, September.
    4. Leone, Maria Isabella & Messeni Petruzzelli, Antonio & Natalicchio, Angelo, 2022. "Boundary spanning through external technology acquisition: The moderating role of star scientists and upstream alliances," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    5. Shafique, Muhammad & Hagedoorn, John, 2022. "Look at U: Technological scope of the acquirer, technological complementarity with the target, and post-acquisition R&D output," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    6. Herstad, Sverre J. & Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Ebersberger, Bernd, 2014. "On industrial knowledge bases, commercial opportunities and global innovation network linkages," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 495-504.
    7. Lu, Qinli & Chesbrough, Henry, 2022. "Measuring open innovation practices through topic modelling: Revisiting their impact on firm financial performance," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 114(C).
    8. Marshall S. Jiang & Jie Jiao & Zhouyu Lin & Jun Xia, 2021. "Learning through observation or through acquisition? Innovation performance as an outcome of internal and external knowledge combination," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 35-63, March.
    9. Kathryn Rudie Harrigan & Maria Chiara DiGuardo, 2017. "Sustainability of patent-based competitive advantage in the U.S. communications services industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(6), pages 1334-1361, December.
    10. Francesco Aiello & Paola Cardamone & Lidia Mannarino & Valeria Pupo, 2021. "Does external R&D matter for family firm innovation? Evidence from the Italian manufacturing industry," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(4), pages 1915-1930, December.
    11. Yutao Sun & Chen Zhang & Robert A. W. Kok, 2020. "The role of research outcome quality in the relationship between university research collaboration and technology transfer: empirical results from China," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(2), pages 1003-1026, February.
    12. McCarthy, Killian J & Aalbers, Hendrik Leendert, 2022. "Alliance-to-acquisition transitions: The technological performance implications of acquiring one's alliance partners," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(6).
    13. Hohberger, Jan & Kruger, Heidi & Almeida, Paul, 2020. "Does separation hurt? The impact of premature termination of R&D alliances on knowledge acquisition and innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(6).
    14. Delgado-Verde, Miriam & Martín-de Castro, Gregorio & Cruz-González, Jorge & Navas-López, José Emilio, 2021. "Complements or substitutes? The contingent role of corporate reputation on the interplay between internal R&D and external knowledge sourcing," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 70-83.
    15. Alejandro Bello-Pintado & Felipe Berrutti & Carlos Bianchi & Pablo Blanchard, 2019. "Knowledge searching strategies, testing for complementarities on the innovation behavior of the firm," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 19-18, Instituto de Economia - IECON.
    16. Peeters, T.J.G., 2013. "External knowledge search and use in new product development," Other publications TiSEM 300ebb34-b090-4210-b95e-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    17. Boeker, Warren & Howard, Michael D. & Basu, Sandip & Sahaym, Arvin, 2021. "Interpersonal relationships, digital technologies, and innovation in entrepreneurial ventures," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 495-507.
    18. Zhu, Shanshan & Hagedoorn, John & Zhang, Shuhui & Liu, Fengchao, 2021. "Effects of technological distance on innovation performance under heterogeneous technological orientations," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).
    19. Stefan, Ioana & Bengtsson, Lars, 2017. "Unravelling appropriability mechanisms and openness depth effects on firm performance across stages in the innovation process," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 252-260.
    20. Ardito, Lorenzo & Messeni Petruzzelli, Antonio, 2017. "Breadth of external knowledge sourcing and product innovation: The moderating role of strategic human resource practices," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 261-272.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:178:y:2022:i:c:s0040162522001196. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00401625 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00401625 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.