Firms are increasingly organizing cross-regional R&D collaborations among different units. Such collaborations should promote knowledge flows across distance and bring new knowledge to the local communities. However, the nature of cross-regional collaborations varies widely depending on the organizations within which they are organized. Compared with collaborations within small firms, collaborations in large firms tend to be routinized, which reduces the need for interpersonal interactions and increases the dependence on organizational structure. As a result, additional spillover from cross-regional collaboration is likely to be lower if the collaboration is within large firms. We extend this argument to the regional level and hypothesize that regions with a higher level of cross-regional collaborations tend to generate more valuable technologies, but when large firms dominate the formation of such collaborations, the marginal benefits of cross-regional collaboration are significantly reduced. Using a data set from the pharmaceutical industry between 1975 and 2001, we find support for our hypotheses. We conduct a series of robustness tests to check the consistency of our results.
Zhao, M. and Islam, M. (2017), "Cross-Regional R&D Collaboration and Local Knowledge Spillover", Geography, Location, and Strategy (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 36), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 343-385. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-332220170000036010
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