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Network-independent partner selection and the evolution of innovation networks

  • Baum, Joel

    ()

    (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto)

  • Cowan, Robin

    ()

    (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)

  • Jonard, Nicolas

    ()

    (Universite du Luxembourg)

Empirical research on strategic alliances has focused on the idea that alliance partners are selected on the basis of social capital considerations. In this paper we emphasize instead the role of complementary knowledge stocks (broadly defined) in partner selection, arguing not only that knowledge complementarity should not be overlooked, but that is may be the true causal force behind alliance formation. To marshal evidence on this point, we design a simple model of partner selection in which firms ally for the purpose if learning and innovating, and in doing so create an industry network. We abstract completely from network-based structural and strategic motives for partner selection and focus instead on the idea that firms' knowledge bases must "fit" in order for joint learning and innovation to be possible, and thus for an alliance to be feasible. The striking result is what while containing no social capital considerations, the simple model replicates the firm conduct, network structure, and contingent effects of network position on performance observed and discussed in the empirical literature.

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File URL: http://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2009/wp2009-022.pdf
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Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 022.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2009022
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  1. Sumit Joshi, 2000. "Networks of Collaboration in Oligopoly," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0623, Econometric Society.
  2. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-79, June.
  3. Robin Cowan & Nicolas Jonard, 2008. "If the Alliance Fits . . . : Innovation and Network Dynamics," Working Papers of BETA 2008-06, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  4. Tiziana Casciaro, 2003. "Determinants of governance structure in alliances: the role of strategic, task and partner uncertainties," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(6), pages 1223-1251, December.
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  7. Joel A. C. Baum & Andrew V. Shipilov & Tim J. Rowley, 2003. "Where do small worlds come from?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 697-725, August.
  8. Melissa A. Schilling & Corey C. Phelps, 2007. "Interfirm Collaboration Networks: The Impact of Large-Scale Network Structure on Firm Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(7), pages 1113-1126, July.
  9. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
  10. Mowery, David C. & Oxley, Joanne E. & Silverman, Brian S., 1998. "Technological overlap and interfirm cooperation: implications for the resource-based view of the firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 507-523, September.
  11. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
  12. Sanjeev Goyal & Sumit Joshi, 2006. "Unequal connections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(3), pages 319-349, October.
  13. Holme, Petter & Min Park, Sung & Kim, Beom Jun & Edling, Christofer R., 2007. "Korean university life in a network perspective: Dynamics of a large affiliation network," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 373(C), pages 821-830.
  14. John Cantwell & Massimo Colombo, 2000. "Technological and Output Complementarities, and Inter-Firm Cooperation in Information Technology Ventures," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 4(1), pages 117-147, March.
  15. Oxley, Joanne E, 1997. "Appropriability Hazards and Governance in Strategic Alliances: A Transaction Cost Approach," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 387-409, October.
  16. Orsenigo, L. & Pammolli, F. & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2001. "Technological change and network dynamics: Lessons from the pharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 485-508, March.
  17. Goyal, S. & Joshi, S., 2000. "Networks of Collaboration in Oligopoly," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 9952-/A, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
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