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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2019

Yu-Shan Su and Wim Vanhaverbeke

Boundary-spanning exploration through establishing alliances is an effective strategy to explore technologies beyond local search in innovating firms. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Boundary-spanning exploration through establishing alliances is an effective strategy to explore technologies beyond local search in innovating firms. The purpose of this paper is to argue that it is useful to make a distinction in boundary-spanning exploration between what a firm learns from its alliance partners (explorative learning from partners (ELP)) and what it learns from other organisations (explorative learning from non-partners (ELN)).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors contend that alliances play a role in both types of exploration. More specifically, the authors discern three types of alliances (inside ties, clique-spanning ties and outside ties) based on their role vis-à-vis existing alliance cliques. Clique members are highly embedded, and breaking out of the cliques through clique-spanning and outside alliances is crucial to improving explorative learning. Thereafter, the authors claim that clique-spanning ties and outside ties have a different effect on ELN and ELP.

Findings

The empirical analysis of the “application specific integrated circuits” industry indicates that inside ties have negligible effects on both types of explorative learning. Clique-spanning ties have a positive effect on ELP, but not on ELN. The reverse is true for outside ties. The results show that research on explorative learning should devote greater attention to the various roles alliance partners and types of alliances play in advancing technological exploration.

Originality/value

The literature only emphasises the learning from partners, focussing mainly on accessing their technology. In sum, alliance partners play different roles in exploration, and their network position influences the role they are able to play.

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Byungun Yoon and Bomi Song

The purpose of this paper is to propose a systematic approach to exploring potential partners for open innovation in order to facilitate the process of technological…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a systematic approach to exploring potential partners for open innovation in order to facilitate the process of technological collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed approach utilizes patent information that is considered the most effective data to investigate innovation activities by applying morphology analysis (MA) and generative topology map (GTM) to the process to identify the configurations of technologies and visualize the collected patent information. In particular, diverse informative indices can assist researchers in deriving appropriate partners for technological cooperation.

Findings

The hybrid approach that combines MA, GTM, and indices is useful to discover technological opportunity, identify necessary technologies and explore potential partners. The systematic process can overcome the limitations of existing approaches that depend on the insights and strategic decisions of top management, reflect a superficial relationship among firms and mostly fail to consider both theoretical and practical approaches to retrieve potential partners.

Practical implications

The results of this paper will help practitioners, academic researchers, and policy makers link a pair of partners who can maximize the synergy of collaboration in a systematic manner. The proposed approach is illustrated to show the validity of the process with a case of light emitting diode (LED) technology. In addition, the social cost for collaboration can be reduced by applying the proposed approach in open innovation.

Originality/value

This paper tackles the important issue of exploring appropriate partners by applying a systematic approach that utilizes text mining, MA and GTM because existing research mostly deals with ad-hoc processes. The proposed approach utilizes multiple methodologies of data mining and technology forecasting to derive promising technology areas in a systematic manner and then employs critical indices to explore proper partners. Thus, this approach considers both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to suggest a sophisticated tool for successful open innovation. Moreover, a real case – LED case was illustrated to demonstrate that the proposed approach can be employed to implement technological cooperation.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 114 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Book part
Publication date: 4 January 2012

Dries Faems

Collaboration and acquisition have traditionally been observed as two alternative strategies when accessing external technologies. However, real option scholars have…

Abstract

Collaboration and acquisition have traditionally been observed as two alternative strategies when accessing external technologies. However, real option scholars have recently argued that firms can also engage in transitional technology sourcing trajectories where collaboration and acquisition are used as complementary strategies. While these real option scholars have identified factors that influence when partners are likely to shift from collaboration to acquisition, they remain silent on how such a transition can be effectively managed. Based on a multiple case study of four transitional technology sourcing trajectories between one new entrepreneurial and one established firm, this study therefore explores how the pre-acquisition collaboration stage and the post-acquisition integration are related to each other. Findings suggest that entrepreneurial companies may use the pre-acquisition collaboration stage as a period to evaluate the goodwill of the established partner. In addition, we point to the presence of pre-acquisition integration efforts and the extent of strategic convergence during the pre-acquisition collaboration stage as factors that substantially influence the success of the post-acquisition integration process in transitional governance trajectories.

Details

New Technology-Based Firms in the New Millennium
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-118-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

T.K. Das and Irene Y. He

To review the alliance partner selection criteria research in order to shed light on how entrepreneurial firms should choose established firms as alliance partners.

Abstract

Purpose

To review the alliance partner selection criteria research in order to shed light on how entrepreneurial firms should choose established firms as alliance partners.

Design/methodology/approach

Critical differences between entrepreneurial and established firms are presented to emphasize the special risks in alliances between these two types of firms. Extant literature on partner selection criteria is reviewed to show that adequate research adopting the perspective of entrepreneurial firms is lacking. A list of recommendations is developed for entrepreneurial firms in their choice of established firms as alliance partners. Illustrative cases are presented of both successful and unsuccessful cases of strategic alliances between entrepreneurial and established firms.

Findings

Provides evidence that entrepreneurial firms have not been adequately recognized in the research on partner selection criteria in strategic alliances. Based on a comprehensive review of the literature, the paper identifies 15 intrinsic and alliancing difference factors between entrepreneurial and established firms.

Practical implications

Five key guidelines are developed to assist entrepreneurial firms in selecting established firms as alliance partners.

Originality/value

This paper fills a gap in the two literatures on entrepreneurship and strategic alliances regarding research‐based guidance available for entrepreneurial firms in the selection of established firms as partners in strategic alliances.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2005

Pauline Ratnasingam

Most research has emphasized the interpersonal components of trust involved in establishing ecommerce relationships while limited attention has been paid on the technology

Abstract

Most research has emphasized the interpersonal components of trust involved in establishing ecommerce relationships while limited attention has been paid on the technology and its interactions on e‐commerce relationships. This paper examines the impact of two forms of trust in e‐commerce relationships namely; technology trust relating to institutional structural assurances and security mechanisms embedded in e‐commerce technologies; and relationship trust referring to trading partners competent, predictably, reliability, and benevolence in the e‐commerce relationship. Based on the findings of a previous study that examined inter‐organizational dyads in business‐to‐business e‐commerce participation, we identify and illustrate how e‐commerce relationships evolve applying four modes in e‐commerce relationships namely; learning, monitoring, collaborating and distancing modes. We develop a number of propositions to facilitate empirical testing and indicate the framework’s key implications for future research and managerial practice.

Details

International Journal of Commerce and Management, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1056-9219

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Jun Jin, Max von Zedtwitz and Li Choy Chong

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how international R & D alliances are formed during industry transition from the point of view of the local Chinese…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how international R & D alliances are formed during industry transition from the point of view of the local Chinese partner.

Design/methodology/approach

Review of industry data provided by Chinese Statistical Office coupled with four in-depth case studies.

Findings

The nature of the technology, the characteristics of partners and the previous cooperation experience between partners are significantly related to the R & D alliance formation. The research also suggests that during this fast-growing transition period, Chinese local firms preferred non-equity contractual agreements over equity joint venture such as R & D alliance modes, and Chinese local firms favoured American and European multinational corporations (MNCs) as their alliance partners over MNCs from other countries, including the highly developed Japan and Korea.

Research limitations/implications

Single-industry focus (telecommunications), and anonymization of cases because of confidentiality of case firms. Single-country focus (China).

Practical implications

Firms in China and other emerging countries can improve their technological capability (TC) by choice to facilitate future alliance formation to access and learn the latest technology from their alliance partners, especially during the transition period of an industry and when mature and emerging technologies co-exist.

Originality/value

This paper refines alliance theory by focusing on an industry in transition and analyses formation decision factors from the point of view of the smaller domestic partner – usually studies do not differentiate as to industry maturity and inequality between partners.

Details

Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-4408

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Hans T. W. Frankort

Firms tend to transfer more knowledge in technology joint ventures compared to contractual technology agreements. Using insights from new institutional economics, this…

Abstract

Firms tend to transfer more knowledge in technology joint ventures compared to contractual technology agreements. Using insights from new institutional economics, this chapter explores to what extent the alliance governance association with interfirm knowledge transfer is sensitive to an evolving industry norm of collaboration connected to the logic of open innovation. The chapter examines 1,888 dyad-year observations on firms engaged in technology alliances in the U.S. information technology industry during 1980–1999. Using fixed effects linear models, it analyzes longitudinal changes in the alliance governance association with interfirm knowledge transfer, and how such changes vary in magnitude across bilateral versus multipartner alliances, and across computers, telecommunications equipment, software, and microelectronics subsectors. Increases in industry-level alliance activity during 1980–1999 improved the knowledge transfer performance of contractual technology agreements relative to more hierarchical equity joint ventures. This effect was concentrated in bilateral rather than multipartner alliances, and in the software and microelectronics rather than computers and telecommunications equipment subsectors. Therefore, an evolving industry norm of collaboration may sometimes make more arms-length governance of a technology alliance a credible substitute for equity ownership, which can reduce the costs of interfirm R&D. Overall, the chapter shows that the performance of material practices that constitute innovation ecosystems, such as interfirm technology alliances, may differ over time subject to prevailing institutional norms of open innovation. This finding generates novel implications for the literatures on alliances, open innovation, and innovation ecosystems.

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Joseph P. McGill and Michael D. Santoro

We examine collaborative complexity arising from strategic alliances among competitors. In high technology industries, rapidly evolving and modular technologies increase…

Abstract

We examine collaborative complexity arising from strategic alliances among competitors. In high technology industries, rapidly evolving and modular technologies increase the likelihood that collaborative alliances will develop between partners who also compete with one another. Partnering under these conditions involves choosing collaborative structures that foster the transfer and integration of some resources, while simultaneously protecting other resources from unintended transfer. Using resource-based, transaction cost, and industrial organization economic theories we develop a model to depict the risks and rewards of collaboration under different modes of competitive interdependence. Two dimensions underlie our conceptual model: resource interdependence and competitive interdependence. Resource interdependence is the degree of integration needed for the resources contributed by alliance partners as reflected in the nature of the resources and their co-specialization. Competitive interdependence gauges the similarity between partners in their overall strategic capabilities and customer markets. We conclude with a discussion of the contingent use of inter-organizational structures to enable partners to balance resource contributions and resource protection in collaborative-competitive relationships.

Details

Complex Collaboration: Building the Capabilities for Working Across Boundaries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-288-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2004

Angeliki Poulymenakou and Elpida Prasopoulou

Innovative technology‐based products and services are often the result of the syndication of skills and resources of more than one firm. Such inter‐firm arrangements …

Abstract

Innovative technology‐based products and services are often the result of the syndication of skills and resources of more than one firm. Such inter‐firm arrangements – i.e. strategic technology alliances – need to balance innovation with sustainability, an issue requiring explicit management attention. This paper discusses the issues faced by management within this context. The paper argues that strategic technology alliances require a new set of management practices targeting issues at the inter‐firm level, acknowledging and addressing inter‐firm evolution and the impact this has on the nature and severity of topics on the management agenda. The paper proposes a management framework at the inter‐firm level, with topics arranged according to an inter‐firm lifecycle perspective. Topics for managerial attention and action for the stages of initiation, configuration, implementation, stabilization and transformation are identified. Finally, the paper illustrates the utility of this framework by applying it to a strategic technology alliance case in the process of transition from initiation to commercialization.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 42 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2020

Ruijia Liu, Jianjun Yang and Feng Zhang

Prior studies have demonstrated the important role of coopetition in firms’ innovation. Based on the paradox perspective, this study aims to focus on technology transfer…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior studies have demonstrated the important role of coopetition in firms’ innovation. Based on the paradox perspective, this study aims to focus on technology transfer, the pre-innovation stage, to provide a supplementary understanding of the complementarity and contradictoriness of paradoxical coopetition, with the formal and informal governance mechanisms which are suitable with this understanding in coopetition.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducted an original, multisource survey of 280 Chinese manufacturing firms. Hypotheses were tested through multiple regressions.

Findings

Coopetition has a positive impact on technology transfer between firms. Along with the increasing specificity of assets invested ex ante as a kind of formal governance mechanism, the relationship between coopetition and technology transfer becomes stronger. Meanwhile, inter-firm justice as an informal governance mechanism in the technology transfer process can be positively affected by coopetition between partners.

Originality/value

The study adds to the business-to-business coopetition literature on how to properly treat and use coopetition in technology transfer. Using the paradox perspective in the Chinese context, the findings emphasize the positive role of coopetition in the inter-firm technological exchange process, enriching the understanding of the complementary and contradictory features of paradoxical coopetition. To govern coopetitive relationships, the firms should also implement two fundamental governance mechanisms, that is, specialty asset and inter-firm justice.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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