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Absorptive Capacity and Innovation: When Is It Better to Cooperate?

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  • Abiodun Egbetokun

    () (Graduate College "Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

  • Ivan Savin

    () (Graduate College "Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

Abstract

Cooperation can benefit and hurt firms at the same time. An important question then is: when is it better to cooperate. And how can an appropriate partner be selected? In this paper we present a model of inter-firm cooperation driven by cognitive distance, appropriability conditions and external knowledge. Absorptive capacity of firms develops as an outcome of the interaction between absorptive R&D and cognitive distance from voluntary and involuntary knowledge spillovers. Thus, we offer a revision of the original model by Cohen and Levinthal (1989) accounting for recent empirical findings and explicitly modeling absorptive capacity within the framework of interactive learning. We apply that to the analysis of firms' cooperation and R&D investment preferences. While the focus of this paper is limited to a static scenario, where the cognitive distance between cooperating firms is fixed and given exogenously, in Savin and Egbetokun (2012) we address the dynamic approach and provide more extensive simulation results.

Suggested Citation

  • Abiodun Egbetokun & Ivan Savin, 2012. "Absorptive Capacity and Innovation: When Is It Better to Cooperate?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-056, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-056
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Caminati, 2016. "Knowledge specialization and R&D collaboration," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 247-270, May.
    2. Savin, Ivan & Egbetokun, Abiodun, 2016. "Emergence of innovation networks from R&D cooperation with endogenous absorptive capacity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 82-103.
    3. D. Blueschke & I. Savin, 2017. "No such thing as a perfect hammer: comparing different objective function specifications for optimal control," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 25(2), pages 377-392, June.
    4. Diego d'Andria & Ivan Savin, 2015. "Motivating innovation in a knowledge economy with tax incentives," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-004, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    5. Uwe Cantner & Ivan Savin, 2014. "Do Firms Benefit from Complementarity Effect in R&D and What Drives their R&D Strategy Choices?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-023, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    6. Ivan Savin & Dmitri Blueschke, 2013. "Solving nonlinear stochastic optimal control problems using evolutionary heuristic optimization," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-051, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    7. Ivan Savin & Dmitri Blueschke, 2016. "Lost in Translation: Explicitly Solving Nonlinear Stochastic Optimal Control Problems Using the Median Objective Value," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 48(2), pages 317-338, August.
    8. repec:eee:tefoso:v:127:y:2018:i:c:p:38-56 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inter-firm cooperation; absorptive capacity; cognitive distance; innovation; knowledge spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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