Most of the literature until now has emphasized and demonstrated the benefits of alliances for learning and innovation. Although it has been acknowledged that these competence-based benefits of collaboration may come at a price of elevated risks formed by knowledge spillovers and freeridership, such a governance view remains understudied. This study offers a coherent framework that combines the two perspectives and explains how a firm’s alliance network structure affects both benefits as risks of collaboration and to what degree that differs between the creation of core and non-core technology. Based on an empirical test in three different industries (pharmaceuticals, chemicals and automotive), we predict and find that the differential effect of a firm’s network structure on the creation of core and non-core technology depends on whether firms especially value the potential for reducing relational risks of collaboration (in case of core technology) or, alternatively, place more emphasis on competence based benefits formed by improved access to external knowledge and capabilities (in case of non-core technology). In this way, our study demonstrates that it is the combination of a competence and governance perspective that yields a more complete understanding of interfirm collaboration.
|Title of host publication
|The 5th international conference on innovation & management (ICIM 2008) : proceedings of presentation papers, December 10-11, 2008
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2009