Effects of technological distance on innovation performance under heterogeneous technological orientations

S. Zhu, J. Hagedoorn, S. Zhang, F. Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Research and development (R&D) collaborations are assumed to be important means by which firms facilitate innovation performance; however, collaborations with different kinds of partners may yield different innovation outputs. Building on the knowledge-based view (KBV) and the behavioural theory of the firm, this paper investigates the effects of technologically short-distance R&D collaborations and technologically long-distance R&D collaborations on focal firms’ innovation performance. The relative magnitudes of these effects shift once the internal technological orientations (i.e., technological breadth and depth) of focal firms are taken into account. The results from a quantitative data set of 203 international new-energy automotive public enterprises indicate that short-distance R&D collaborations are better for the innovation performance of high-breadth & high-depth firms and high-breadth & low-depth firms. However, collaborating with long-distance partners is better for the innovation performance of low-breadth & high-depth firms. No significant difference was found between the two kinds of collaborations for low-breadth & low-depth firms. The findings have managerial implications for how firms can effectively select partners to improve their innovation performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102301
Number of pages11
JournalTechnovation
Volume106
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

JEL classifications

  • o33 - "Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes"
  • o32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

Keywords

  • Behavioural theory
  • Engineering
  • Innovation performance
  • Knowledge based systems
  • Knowledge-based view
  • Knowledge-based views
  • Managerial implications
  • New energies
  • Public enterprise
  • Quantitative data
  • Research and development
  • Technological breadth
  • Technological depth
  • Technological distance
  • Technologically long-distance collaboration
  • Technologically short-distance collaboration
  • FIRM-LEVEL
  • DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES
  • DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENTS
  • ABSORPTIVE-CAPACITY
  • ALLIANCES
  • RESEARCH-AND-DEVELOPMENT
  • KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION
  • DEVELOPMENT COLLABORATION
  • IMPACT
  • DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

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