IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Organizing the Innovation Process: Complementarities in Innovation Networking


  • James Love
  • Stephen Roper


This paper contributes to the developing literature on complementarities in organizational design. We test for the existence of complementarities in the use of external networking between stages of the innovation process in a sample of UK and German manufacturing plants. Our evidence suggests some differences between the UK and Germany in terms of the optimal combination of innovation activities in which to implement external networking. Broadly, there is more evidence of complementarities in the case of Germany, with the exception of the product engineering stage. By contrast, the UK exhibits generally strong evidence of substitutability in external networking in different stages, except between the identification of new products and product design and development stages. These findings suggest that previous studies indicating strong complementarity between internal and external knowledge sources have provided only part of the picture of the strategic dilemmas facing firms.

Suggested Citation

  • James Love & Stephen Roper, 2009. "Organizing the Innovation Process: Complementarities in Innovation Networking," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 273-290.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:273-290 DOI: 10.1080/13662710902923776

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Stan Metcalfe & John Foster & Ronnie Ramlogan, 2006. "Adaptive economic growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(1), pages 7-32, January.
    2. Nelson, Richard R, 2001. "Observations on the Post-Bayh-Dole Rise of Patenting at American Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 13-19, January.
    3. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2003. "Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 377-393, May.
    4. Siegel, Donald S. & Waldman, David & Link, Albert, 2003. "Assessing the impact of organizational practices on the relative productivity of university technology transfer offices: an exploratory study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 27-48, January.
    5. Anthony Arundel & Aldo Geuna, 2004. "Proximity and the use of public science by innovative European firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 559-580.
    6. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1992. "Real Effects of Academic Research: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 363-367, March.
    7. Saragossi, Sarina & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2003. "What Patent Data Reveal about Universities: The Case of Belgium," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 47-51, January.
    8. Phelps, Richard P., 1998. "The Effect of University Host Community Size on State Growth," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 149-158, April.
    9. Rosenberg, Nathan & Nelson, Richard R., 1994. "American universities and technical advance in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 323-348, May.
    10. Yli-Renko, Helena & Autio, Erkko, 1998. "The Network Embeddedness of New, Technology-Based Firms: Developing a Systemic Evolution Model," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 253-267, November.
    11. J. Barkley Rosser, 1999. "On the Complexities of Complex Economic Dynamics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 169-192, Fall.
    12. Donald Siegel & David Waldman & Albert Link, 1999. "Assessing the Impact of Organizational Practices on the Productivity of University Technology Transfer Offices: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 7256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Martin Carree & Boris Lokshin & René Belderbos, 2011. "A note on testing for complementarity and substitutability in the case of multiple practices," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 263-269, June.
    2. Patrucco, Pier Paolo, 2013. "The Evolution of Knowledge Organization: The Emergence of Innovation Platform in the Turin Car System," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201315, University of Turin.
    3. Resende, Marcelo & Strube, Eduardo & Zeidan, Rodrigo, 2014. "Complementarity of innovation policies in Brazilian industry: An econometric study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 9-17.
    4. Naciba Haned & Caroline Mothe & Thuc Uyen Nguyen-Thi, 2014. "Firm persistence in technological innovation: the relevance of organizational innovation," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5-6), pages 490-516, September.
    5. Adelheid Holl & Ruth Rama, 2014. "Foreign Subsidiaries and Technology Sourcing in Spain," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 43-64, January.
    6. Love, James H. & Roper, Stephen & Vahter, Priit, 2014. "Dynamic complementarities in innovation strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1774-1784.
    7. Patrucco, Pier Paolo, 2013. "Innovation Platforms, Complexity and the Knowledge-Intensive Firm," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201316, University of Turin.
    8. Justin Doran & Eoin O'Leary, 2011. "External Interaction, Innovation and Productivity: An Application of the Innovation Value Chain to Ireland," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 199-222.
    9. Christopher F Baum & Hans Lööf & Pardis Nabavi, 2015. "Innovation Strategies, External Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 885, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 06 Dec 2017.
    10. Pier Paolo Patrucco, 2012. "Innovative Platforms, Complexity and the Knowledge Intensive Firm," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 26 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Roper, Stephen & Arvanitis, Spyros, 2012. "From knowledge to added value: A comparative, panel-data analysis of the innovation value chain in Irish and Swiss manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1093-1106.
    12. Ganter, Alois & Hecker, Achim, 2013. "Deciphering antecedents of organizational innovation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(5), pages 575-584.
    13. Cristiano Antonelli & Pier Paolo Patrucco & Francesco Quatraro, 2011. "Productivity Growth and Pecuniary Knowledge Externalities: An Empirical Analysis of Agglomeration Economies in European Regions," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 87(1), pages 23-50, January.
    14. J Doran & G Ryan, 2016. "The effectiveness of R&D and external interaction for innovation: Insights from quantile regression," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 21(1), pages 47-65, March.
    15. Doran, Justin, 2012. "Are different forms of innovation complements or substitutes?," MPRA Paper 44580, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Innovation; networking; complementarities; UK; Germany;


    Access and download statistics


    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:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:273-290. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.