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Exploring new knowledge through research collaboration: the moderation of the global and local cohesion of knowledge networks

Luyun Xu, Jian Li () and Xin Zhou
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Luyun Xu: Hunan University
Jian Li: Hunan University
Xin Zhou: Hunan University

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2019, vol. 44, issue 3, 822-849

Abstract: Abstract Research collaboration has long been suggested as an effective way to obtain innovative outcomes. Nevertheless, relatively little is known about whether and how different research collaboration strategies inspire or inhibit firms in the exploration of new knowledge. Drawing upon the research collaboration literature and social network theory, this study examines the effects of two specific collaboration strategies (i.e., collaborating widely and collaborating deeply) on new knowledge exploration by recognizing the moderating roles of the local and global cohesion of knowledge networks. We test our hypotheses by using a manually collected sample of 730 Chinese vehicle or parts manufacturers during the period between 1985 and 2011. The empirical results suggest the positive effects of research collaboration breadth and collaboration depth on new knowledge exploration and that the global cohesion of intra-organizational knowledge networks magnifies the effect of collaboration breadth, while local cohesion negatively moderates the effect of collaboration depth on new knowledge exploration. These findings jointly indicate that a research collaboration strategy in combination with the structure of a knowledge base is crucial for obtaining novel knowledge.

Keywords: Collaboration breadth; Collaboration depth; Local cohesion; Global cohesion; Knowledge network; New knowledge (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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