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The evolution of government sponsored collaboration network and its impact on innovation: A bibliometric analysis in the Chinese solar PV sector

Xinning Liang and Anita M.M. Liu

Research Policy, 2018, vol. 47, issue 7, 1295-1308

Abstract: This study explores the dynamics of a government sponsored collaboration network concerning the development of solar photovoltaics (PV) technologies in China, and investigates the effect of network evolution on the subsequent innovation performance of network actors. Network structure characteristics and attribute proximity variables are jointly examined through a bibliometric methodology based on scientific publication and patent data. In addressing the evolution of the government sponsored collaboration network, this study has identified that actors are more likely to engage in collaboration with prior partners, partners of direct & indirect partners, and partners with similar attributes. These collaboration patterns, in turn, negatively impact direct ties and network efficiency, and increase the attribute proximity of an actor’s network. On the other hand, the estimation results indicate that direct ties have an inverted U-shaped effect on innovation performance, while indirect ties are found to be positively related to innovation performance. As expected, a positive effect of network efficiency is found on innovation performance. The results of attribute proximity variables suggest geographical proximity is negatively related to innovation performance. Taken together, the collaboration patterns in the government sponsored network might have a negative impact on innovation performance of network actors. The empirical findings extend the network literature that collaboration network matters differently in different research contexts, and it is no longer appropriate to simply assume that collaboration is purely a good thing. As such, special attention should be paid to the network structure and composition in further policy design.

Keywords: Collaboration network; Network structure; Attribute proximity; Innovation performance; Solar photovoltaics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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