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Pain shared, pain halved? Cooperation as a coping strategy for innovation barriers


  • Davide Antonioli

    (University of Chieti-Pescara)

  • Alberto Marzucchi

    (University of Sussex)

  • Maria Savona

    (University of Sussex)


The paper analyses the relationship between the perception of barriers to innovation and the firm’s propensity to cooperate to mitigate their effect. First, we look at whether cooperation with research organizations or private firms is associated with experiencing different types of barriers, for example, financial constraints, lack of human capital or uncertain market demand. Second, we test whether experiencing several types of barriers simultaneously has a super-modular effect on the propensity to cooperate tout court, and the choice of cooperation partner. We find that having to face a single, specific constraint leads to firms ‘sharing the pain’ with cooperation partners—both research organization and other firms. However, the results of a super-modularity test show that having to cope with different barriers is a deterrent to establishing cooperation agreements, especially when firms lack finance, adequate skills and information on technology or markets. The paper adds to the innovation literature by identifying the factors associated with firms’ coping with different barriers by applying a selective cooperation strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Antonioli & Alberto Marzucchi & Maria Savona, 2017. "Pain shared, pain halved? Cooperation as a coping strategy for innovation barriers," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 841-864, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9545-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-016-9545-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Buchmann, Tobias & Haering, Alexander & Kudic, Muhamed & Rothgang, Michael, 2018. "Does sequential decision-making trigger collective investment in automobile R&D? Experimental evidence," Ruhr Economic Papers 785, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Alessandra Scandura & Simona Iammarino, 2022. "Academic engagement with industry: the role of research quality and experience," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 1000-1036, August.
    4. Andrea Filippetti & Maria Savona, 2017. "University–industry linkages and academic engagements: individual behaviours and firms’ barriers. Introduction to the special section," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 719-729, August.
    5. Quentin Plantec & Benjamin Cabanes & Pascal Le Masson & Benoit Weil, 2019. "Exploring Practices In University - Industry Collaborations: The Case Of Collaborative Doctoral Program In France," Post-Print hal-02152927, HAL.
    6. Timo Kleiner-Schaefer & Kerstin J. Schaefer, 2022. "Barriers to university–industry collaboration in an emerging market: Firm-level evidence from Turkey," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 872-905, June.
    7. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Kempkes, Sander N. & Chappin, Maryse M.H., 2017. "Seduced into collaboration: A resource-based choice experiment to explain make, buy or ally strategies of SMEs," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 284-297.
    8. Sandro Montresor & Antonio Vezzani, 2022. "Financial constraints to investing in intangibles: Do innovative and non-innovative firms differ?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 1-32, February.
    9. Mery Patricia Tamayo & Estefanía Gómez & Elena Huergo, 2018. "Obstacles to innovation and external sourcing of knowledge: Evidence for German and Spanish firms," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 016257, Universidad EAFIT.
    10. Xincheng Wang & Jide Sun & Longwei Tian & Wenjia Guo & Tianyu Gu, 2021. "Environmental dynamism and cooperative innovation: the moderating role of state ownership and institutional development," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 46(5), pages 1344-1375, October.
    11. Bernal, Pilar & Carree, Martin & Lokshin, Boris, 2022. "Knowledge spillovers, R&D partnerships and innovation performance," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    12. Quentin Plantec & Pascal Le Masson & Benoit Weil, 2019. "The role of participating in user-driven research projects on scholar's academic performances: a model through C-K design theory," Post-Print hal-02165721, HAL.
    13. Sandro Montresor & Antonio Vezzani, 2019. "Financial constraints and intangible investments. Do innovative and non-innovative firms differ?," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2019-07, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    14. Daniel Olah & B. Levente Alpek, 2021. "The theoretical model of spatial production for innovation," Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-24, December.
    15. Jin, Zhizhou & Zeng, Saixing & Chen, Hongquan & Shi, Jonathan Jingsheng, 2022. "Explaining the expansion performance in technological capability of participants in megaprojects: A configurational approach," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 181(C).
    16. Claudia Fuentes & Fernando Santiago & Serdal Temel, 2020. "Perception of innovation barriers by successful and unsuccessful innovators in emerging economies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 1283-1307, August.

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