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Collaborating for Knowledge Creation and Application: The Case of Nanotechnology Research Programs

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  • Dovev Lavie

    () (Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel)

  • Israel Drori

    () (School of Business, College of Management, Rishon LeZion 75190, Israel; and Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel)

Abstract

We study how collaboration and internal resources drive knowledge creation and application in university research programs. Academic collaboration with fellow university scientists drives knowledge creation, whereas collaboration with industry partners drives knowledge application. Nevertheless, contrary to prior research that has underscored the merits of collaboration, we identify an optimal level of collaboration beyond which collaboration undermines both processes. Furthermore, the availability of internal resources can either complement or substitute for collaboration depending on the level of collaboration. In particular, we find that availability of internal resources mitigates the effect of academic collaboration on knowledge creation when collaboration is moderate and complements it as collaboration becomes excessive. Thus, our study reveals the contingent value of collaboration and the interplay between internal and network resources. It enhances understanding of collaboration in nascent science-driven industries and advances the resource-based view and knowledge management research.

Suggested Citation

  • Dovev Lavie & Israel Drori, 2012. "Collaborating for Knowledge Creation and Application: The Case of Nanotechnology Research Programs," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(3), pages 704-724, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:23:y:2012:i:3:p:704-724
    DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1110.0656
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1110.0656
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