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Technological alliances between weak and strong firms : coopérative ventures with asymmetric compétences

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  • Antonello Zanfei

Abstract

[fre] Un nombre croissant d'études empiriques montre que les accords de coopération technologique concernent fréquemment des firmes de grande taille, « fortes » par rapport à leurs compétences et leurs capacités de R&D. À l'inverse, les firmes faiblement engagées dans des processus internes de R&D, doivent affronter des difficultés significatives lors d'alliances technologiques, en particulier avec des firmes « fortes ». L'article part de cette constatation et tente d'expliquer pourquoi les incitations et les difficultés en matière de coopération technique, varient en fonction d'asymétries technologiques entre firmes, liées aux conditions alternatives sur les barrières à l'entrée, la complémentarité des actifs et les régimes d'appropriation. Cette approche est alors utilisée afin de déterminer les circonstances selon lesquelles une coopération entre firmes technologiquement « faibles » et « fortes » apparaît et est profitable. Le problème de la coopération entre petite et grande entreprises est enfin examiné comme cas particulier. [eng] A growing empirical literature has shown that technological alliances as well as licencing agreements most frequently involve large firms that already are « strong » as far as their competences and R&D capacity are concerned. On the contrary, firms that are conducting little R&D intramuros appear to face relevant difficulties to enter technical alliances, particularly with stronger firms. The paper builds on this evidence and attempts to provide a comprehensive explanation of how incentives and difficulties to enter R&D collaborations vary according to technological asymmetries between firms, in the presence of alternative conditions concerning entry barriers, asset complementarity and appropriability regimes. This framework is used to predict in which circumstances cooperation between technologically « weak » firms and « strong » firms will occur and be fruitful. Accordingly, the issue of cooperation between large and small sized firms is considered as a special case.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonello Zanfei, 1994. "Technological alliances between weak and strong firms : coopérative ventures with asymmetric compétences," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 67(1), pages 255-280.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_1994_num_67_1_1522
    DOI: 10.3406/rei.1994.1522
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.1994.1522
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gamal Atallah, 2005. "Partner Selection in R&D Cooperation," CIRANO Working Papers 2005s-24, CIRANO.
    2. Mireille Matt, 2000. "Diversité exogène des entreprises et justification économique d'une politique d'incitation à la coopération en R&D," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 145(4), pages 117-130.

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