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Drawing upon the importance of research and development (R&D) alliances in driving firm innovation performance, extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D…
Drawing upon the importance of research and development (R&D) alliances in driving firm innovation performance, extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D alliance partner attributes on firm innovation performance. Despite such analyzes, research has generally underestimated the configurations of partner attributes leading to firm innovation performance. This research gap is interesting to explore, as firms involved in R&D alliances usually face a combination of partner attributes. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of how R&D partner attributes tie into configurations is an issue that is attracting particular interest in coopetition research and alliance literature. This paper aims to obtain a better knowledge of this underrated, but important, aspect of alliances by exploring what configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes lead firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance. To tackle this question, first, this study reviews the extant literature on R&D alliances by relying on the knowledge-based view of alliances to identify the most impactful partner attributes on firms’ innovation performance. This paper then applies a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to explore the configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes that lead firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance.
This study selects 27 R&D alliances formed worldwide in the telecom industry. This paper explores the multiple configurations of partner attributes of these alliances by conducting a fsQCA.
The findings of the fsQCA show that the two alternate configurations of partner attributes guided the firms involved in these alliances to achieve high innovation performance: a configuration with extensive partner technological relatedness and coopetition, but no experience; and a configuration with extensive partner experience and competition, but no technological relatedness.
The research highlights the importance of how partner attributes (i.e. partner technological relatedness, partner competitive overlap, partner experience and partner relative size) tie, with regard to the firms’ access to external knowledge and consequently to their willingness to achieve high innovation performance. Moreover, this paper reveals the beneficial effect of competition on the innovation performance of the firms involved in R&D alliances when some of the other knowledge-based partner attributes are considered. Despite these insights for alliance and coopetition literature, some limitations are to be noted. First, some of the partners’ attributes considered could be further disentangled into sub-partner attributes. Second, other indicators might be used to measure firms’ innovation performance. Third, as anticipated this study applies fsQCA to explore the combinatory effects of partner attributes in the specific context of R&D alliances in the telecom industry worldwide and in a specific time window. This condition may question the extensibility of the results to other industries and times.
This study also bears two interesting implications for alliance managers. First, the paper suggests that R&D alliance managers need to be aware that potential alliance partners have multiple attributes leading to firm innovation performance. In this regard, partner competitive overlap is particularly important for gaining a better understanding of firm innovation performance. When looking for strategic partners, managers should try to ally with highly competitive enterprises so as to access their more innovative knowledge. Second, the results also highlight that this beneficial effect of coopetition in R&D alliances can be amplified in two ways. On the one hand, when the partners involved in the alliance have not yet developed experience in forming alliances. Partners without previous experience supply ideal stimuli to unlock more knowledge in the alliance because new approaches to access and develop knowledge in the alliance could be explored. On the other hand, this paper detects the situation when the allied partners are developing technologies and products in different areas. When partnering with firms coming from different technological areas, the knowledge diversity that can be leveraged in the alliances could drive alliance managers to generate synergies and economies of scope within the coopetitive alliance.
Extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D alliance partner attributes on firm innovation performance but has concurrently underestimated the configurations of partner attributes leading to firm innovation performance. Therefore, this paper differs from previous studies, as it provides an understanding of the specific configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes leading firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance.
This study aims to investigate the hybrid nature and scope of environmental innovation (EI) by assuming a paradox perspective and developing it empirically. Specifically…
This study aims to investigate the hybrid nature and scope of environmental innovation (EI) by assuming a paradox perspective and developing it empirically. Specifically, the authors raise the questions of how the opposite elements of EI characteristics can be arranged and combined to generate benefits for companies and markets.
A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) is conducted to analyse European companies operating in telecommunications and in information and communication technology (ICT). This method helps us interpret the complexity occurring in the real world, in which the contribution of a specific attribute to the outcome might change according to other interacting and concurring aspects.
By recognising the conflicting aspects inherent to the complexity of EI, this study addresses how these tensions can be embraced. Specifically, the paradox logic is proposed to open EI strategy to a “both-and” perspective, with the purpose of making EI goals concretely feasible and integrated into a holistic view.
Paradoxical resolution denotes purposeful iterations between alternatives to ensure simultaneous attention to them over time. A paradox logic can support managers in making the EI strategy more workable and reconciling the extremes as well as possible.
This study unpacks the multiple enactments of EI by exploring the factors enabling integrated EI benefits. By adopting a paradox approach, the EI strategy may be interpreted in a “both-and” perspective, allowing firms to concretely achieve integrated EI benefits.
In recent times the relationship between social stratification and internet use has become more complex. In order to understand the new configuration of the digital…
In recent times the relationship between social stratification and internet use has become more complex. In order to understand the new configuration of the digital divide, this paper examines the relationship between socioeconomic background and digital engagement among youths.
This study explores digital inequalities among Italian teenagers from a holistic perspective. It draws on primary data obtained with a triangulation of methods: a survey on a representative sample of 2,025 high school students and 56 semi-structured interviews with teenagers from different social classes.
The statistical models indicate that cultural capital and parents’ occupational status do not associate with broader social media use but are positively related with online information-seeking. The interpretative analysis suggests that teenagers from the upper-middle class make sense of the internet “vertically,” in affiliation with parental socialization, and are more concerned with capital enhancing activities. Instead, teenagers from less advantageous social contexts appropriate the internet “horizontally,” jointly with peers, and are mostly interested in social-networking and UGC production.
School track, along with parents’ socioeconomic status and cultural capital, influences teenagers’ internet use. Further studies could explore whether school tracking contributes to digital inequalities.
The study extends Annette Lareau’s theory of parenting styles and social reproduction, but also obtains innovative results related to digital inequalities among youth. Contrary to expectations, teenagers from less advantageous social backgrounds enrolled in vocational schools have better chances to actively participate in social media than teens from the upper-middle class in academic-oriented high schools.