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How could firm's internal R&D collaboration bring more innovation?

Guiyang Zhang and Chaoying Tang

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2017, vol. 125, issue C, 299-308

Abstract: Encouraging internal research and development collaboration has been recognized as an effective management strategy to facilitate firms' innovation. The reasons include that extensive collaboration among employees may promote the flow of diversified knowledge, bring forth novel knowledge combination and in turn facilitate firms' innovation. To put it forward, this study supposes that technological heterogeneity among employees and the combinatorial potential of firm's technologies should be taken into account. To do that, multi networks including two-mode network are contained and their interacting effects are analyzed. The analysis results based on 13years' patent data of 39 Chinese innovative firms in telecommunication, electrical machinery, automobile, and pharmaceutical industries show that collaboration breadth of employees positively affects firms' innovation performance. Technological heterogeneity among employees positively moderates the relationship between collaboration breadth and innovation performance. Combinatorial potential of firm's technologies, together with technological heterogeneity among employees, exerts a three-way moderating effect on the relationship. Contributions to theories of collaborative innovation and suggestions to R&D managers are discussed.

Keywords: R&D collaboration; Technological heterogeneity; Combinatorial potential; Firm innovation performance; Two-mode network analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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