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The Relationship Between a Firm's Level of Technological Innovativeness and Its Pattern of Partnership Agreements


  • Shantanu Dutta

    (School of Business Administration, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089)

  • Allen M. Weiss

    (School of Business Administration, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089)


In this paper we investigate the relationship between the level of a firm's technological innovativeness and its pattern of partnership agreements (i.e., relative number of partnership agreements of one type versus another). We argue that the protection of tacit technological knowledge from potential opportunism is of importance to technologically innovative firms, and as a result they tend to have a relatively larger number of partnership agreements which generally minimize the transfer of tacit technological knowledge. Specifically, they tend to have a greater number of marketing agreements than joint ventures and a greater number of licensing agreements than joint ventures. This argument is tested using data from manufacturing firms in the electrical and electronics machinery sector who invest in R&D, and our results hold for our focal firm's agreements with both domestic and foreign partners. We discuss the strategic and policy implications from this research. In particular, the empirical results suggest that technologically innovative firms already have relatively more agreements which are likely to preempt transfer of their tacit technological knowledge to their foreign partners. Thus, recent suggestions of more active government regulation in the area of intellectual property may be unwarranted.

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  • Shantanu Dutta & Allen M. Weiss, 1997. "The Relationship Between a Firm's Level of Technological Innovativeness and Its Pattern of Partnership Agreements," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(3), pages 343-356, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:43:y:1997:i:3:p:343-356

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Neil Baily & Robert J. Gordon, 1988. "The Productivity Slowdown, Measurement Issues, and the Explosion of Computer Power," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 347-432.
    2. Erik Brynjolfsson & Thomas W. Malone & Vijay Gurbaxani & Ajit Kambil, 1994. "Does Information Technology Lead to Smaller Firms?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(12), pages 1628-1644, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bstieler, Ludwig & Hemmert, Martin, 2008. "Developing trust in vertical product development partnerships: A comparison of South Korea and Austria," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 35-46, January.
    2. Griffith, David A. & Harmancioglu, Nukhet & Droge, Cornelia, 2009. "Governance decisions for the offshore outsourcing of new product development in technology intensive markets," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 217-224, July.
    3. Wuyts, Stefan & Colombo, Massimo G. & Dutta, Shantanu & Nooteboom, Bart, 2005. "Empirical tests of optimal cognitive distance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 277-302, October.
    4. Soh, Pek Hooi, 1966- & Roberts, Edward Baer. & International Center for Research on the Management of Technology., 1998. "Learning by knowing through social capital : a missling link to research capability," Working papers 175-98, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    5. repec:eee:proeco:v:193:y:2017:i:c:p:207-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fernández Gual, Verónica & Segarra Blasco, Agustí, 1958-, 2013. "The Impact of Cooperation on R&D, Innovation and Productivity: an Analysis of Spanish Manufacturing and Services Firms," Working Papers 2072/220761, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:ris:invreg:0358 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Sreekumar R. Bhaskaran & V. Krishnan, 2009. "Effort, Revenue, and Cost Sharing Mechanisms for Collaborative New Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1152-1169, July.
    9. Nielsen, Bo Bernhard, 2010. "Strategic fit, contractual, and procedural governance in alliances," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(7), pages 682-689, July.
    10. Surroca Aguilar, Jorge & Santamaría Sánchez, Luis, 2004. "Idoneidad del socio tecnológico : un análisis con datos de panel," DEE - Documentos de Trabajo. Economía de la Empresa. DB db040704, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía de la Empresa.
    11. Chen, Chung-Jen & Huang, Yi-Fen & Lin, Bou-Wen, 2012. "How firms innovate through R&D internationalization? An S-curve hypothesis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1544-1554.
    12. Verónica Fernández Gual & Agustí Segarra Blasco, 2013. "The Impact of Cooperation on R&D, Innovation andProductivity: an Analysis of Spanish Manufacturing and Services Firms," Working Papers XREAP2013-08, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Nov 2013.
    13. Weck, Mona & Blomqvist, Kirsimarja, 2008. "The role of inter-organizational relationships in the development of patents: A knowledge-based approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1329-1336, September.
    14. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Cassiman, Bruno, 2005. "R&D cooperation between firms and universities. Some empirical evidence from Belgian manufacturing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 355-379, June.
    15. Müller, Dirk, 2010. "Alliance Coordination, Dysfunctions, and the Protection of Idiosyncratic Knowledge in Strategic Learning Alliances," EconStor Preprints 41039, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    16. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:9:p:1570-1579 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Nam, Hyun-Jung & An, Yohan, 2017. "Patent, R&D and internationalization for Korean healthcare industry," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 131-137.
    18. Wilfred Amaldoss & Robert J. Meyer & Jagmohan S. Raju & Amnon Rapoport, 2000. "Collaborating to Compete," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(2), pages 105-126, November.
    19. Karray, Salma, 2011. "Effectiveness of retail joint promotions under different channel structures," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(3), pages 745-751, May.


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