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Impact of external knowledge acquisition strategies on innovation – A comparative study based on Dutch and Swiss panel data

There is growing evidence that firms increasingly adopt open innovation practices. In this paper we investigate the impact of two such external knowledge acquisition strategies, ‘buy’ and ‘cooperate’, on firm’s product innovation performance. Taking a direct (productivity) approach, we test for complementarity effects in the simultaneous use of the two strategies, and in the intensity of their use. Our results based on large panels of Dutch and Swiss innovating firms, suggest that while both ‘buy’ and ‘cooperate’ have a positive effect on innovation, there is little statistical evidence that using them simultaneously leads to higher innovation performance. Results from the Dutch sample provide some indication, that there are positive economies of scope in doing external and cooperative R&D simultaneously conditional on doing internal R&D.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 13-325.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:13-325
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  1. Beneito, Pilar, 2006. "The innovative performance of in-house and contracted R&D in terms of patents and utility models," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 502-517, May.
  2. Bernhard Dachs & Bernd Ebersberger & Hans Lööf, 2008. "The innovative performance of foreign-owned enterprises in small open economies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 393-406, August.
  3. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Carine Peeters & Bruno Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2006. "Innovation strategy and the patenting behavior of firms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 109-135, April.
  5. Lokshin, Boris & Belderbos, René & Carree, Martin, 2007. "The Productivity Effects of Internal and External R&D: Evidence From a Dynamic Panel Data Model," MERIT Working Papers 026, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  6. Belderbos, Rene & Carree, Martin & Lokshin, Boris, 2004. "Cooperative R&D and firm performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1477-1492, December.
  7. Werner Bonte, 2003. "R&D and productivity: Internal vs. external R&D - evidence from west german manufacturing industries," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 343-360.
  8. Cédric Schneider & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2010. "On young highly innovative companies: why they matter and how (not) to policy support them," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 969-1007, August.
  9. René Belderbos & Martin Carree & Boris Lokshin, 2006. "Complementarity in R&D Cooperation Strategies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 401-426, June.
  10. Dahlander, Linus & Gann, David M., 2010. "How open is innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 699-709, July.
  11. Hagedoorn, John & Wang, Ning, 2012. "Is there complementarity or substitutability between internal and external R&D strategies?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1072-1083.
  12. James D. Adams & Mircea Marcu, 2004. "R&D Sourcing, Joint Ventures and Innovation: A Multiple Indicators Approach," NBER Working Papers 10474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  14. Eugenio J. Miravete & Jos� C. Pern�As, 2006. "INNOVATION COMPLEMENTARITY AND SCALE OF PRODUCTION -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 1-29, 03.
  15. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2008. "Formal and Informal Technology Transfer from Academia to Industry: Complementarity Effects and Innovation Performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-080, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  16. Schmiedeberg, Claudia, 2008. "Complementarities of innovation activities: An empirical analysis of the German manufacturing sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1492-1503, October.
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