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How technological relatedness influences inter-firm collaborative performance: an empirical study on 5 high-tech fields of scientific and technological achievements

Guilong Zhu (School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Fu Sai (School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Zitao Qin (School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 28 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of two dimensions of technological relatedness, namely technological similarity and complementarity, on collaborative performance, plus the mediating role of collaboration network stickiness and the moderating role of partner expertise and geographical distance in interfirm collaboration contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

This study takes Chinese Scientific and Technological Achievements (STA) of inter-firm collaboration in five high-tech fields in 2010–2020 as the sample and uses OLS regression to test the hypothesis.

Findings

Technological similarity and complementarity positively affect collaborative performance. Partner expertise negatively moderates the relationship between similarity, complementarity and collaborative performance. Geographical distance positively moderates the relationship between similarity and collaborative performance while negatively moderates that between complementarity and collaborative performance. Collaboration network stickiness partly mediates the relationship between similarity and collaborative performance.

Originality/value

This study expands literature on inter-firm collaboration, especially research on the antecedents of collaborative performance. Moreover, this study not only compensates for lack of empirical analysis in partner selection research, but also utilizes second-hand data to enhance the objectivity of analysis. Additionally, we enrich the research on the moderating role of partner expertise and geographical distance as well as the mediating role of collaboration network stickiness.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors’ thanks go to the editor and the anonymous reviewers. The authors would like to acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. U1901222).

Citation

Zhu, G., Sai, F. and Qin, Z. (2022), "How technological relatedness influences inter-firm collaborative performance: an empirical study on 5 high-tech fields of scientific and technological achievements", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-09-2022-0488

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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