Inter-firm collaboration and innovation performance for new-to-market products: The moderating role of technological and skills-related knowledge assets

N. Torugsa*, A. Arundel, W. O'Donohue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examines the impact that the two types of knowledge assets - technological knowledge and skills-related knowledge - have on the link between inter-firm collaboration (IFC) and product innovation performance, measured by the sales share of new-to-market products. Drawing on transaction cost economics (TCE), we propose that the relation specificity of these knowledge assets that a firm shares with its partners (reflecting its level of research and development (R&D) and training investments, respectively) is a key determinant of the benefits and transaction costs associated with IFC. Using a two-wave panel of 480 innovating firms in the Australian state of Tasmania, we find that the observed positive association between IFC and the sales share of new-to-market products declines at high levels of R&D and training intensities. Our findings help strengthen an understanding of the role of transaction costs for relation-specific knowledge assets and the factors that could influence the value of IFC as a pathway to enhanced innovation performance for new-to-market products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1650050
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Management
Issue number6
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

JEL classifications

  • o32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D


  • innovation performance
  • Inter-firm collaboration
  • new-to-market products
  • skills-related knowledge
  • technological knowledge
  • transaction cost economics
  • FIRM

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