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University-industry collaborations and product innovation performance: the moderating effects of absorptive capacity and innovation competencies

Sebastian Kobarg (), Jutta Stumpf-Wollersheim and Isabell M. Welpe
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Sebastian Kobarg: Technische Universität München
Jutta Stumpf-Wollersheim: Technische Universität München
Isabell M. Welpe: Technische Universität München

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2018, vol. 43, issue 6, 1696-1724

Abstract: Abstract While the performance implications of university-industry collaboration (UIC) have been the subject of extensive research, no study thus far has investigated the potential influence of absorptive capacity and innovation competencies on the relationship between UIC and product innovation performance. Based on a sample of 2061 German companies from two waves of the German Community Innovation Survey and using moderated multiple regression, this study examines these moderating effects and provides the following findings: (1) absorptive capacity in terms of internal R&D negatively moderates the relationship between UIC and incremental innovation performance and has no effect on the relationship between UIC and radical innovation performance; (2) absorptive capacity related to employee know-how has no moderating effect on the relationship between UIC and incremental innovation performance but positively moderates the relationship between UIC and radical innovation performance; and (3) innovation competencies exert no moderating effect on the relationship between UIC and incremental innovation performance but have a predominantly positive moderating effect on the relationship between UIC and radical innovation performance. In summary, our study provides relevant insights on the dynamics governing UIC relationships and provides evidence for potential negative effects of absorptive capacity in the context of collaborative R&D (substitution effect). Providing an in-depth analysis of UIC, this study offers insights for research in this field by explaining the variance in the outcomes of UIC. Moreover, our findings have the potential to aid practitioners (e.g., innovation managers, researchers, and governing and funding bodies) in their decisions concerning their involvement in UIC.

Keywords: University-industry collaboration; Innovation performance; Absorptive capacity; Innovation competencies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O32 O33 L24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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