Network-independent partner selection and the evolution of innovation networks

Baum, Joel, Cowan, Robin and Jonard, Nicolas (2009). Network-independent partner selection and the evolution of innovation networks. UNU-MERIT.

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  • Author Baum, Joel
    Cowan, Robin
    Jonard, Nicolas
    Title Network-independent partner selection and the evolution of innovation networks
    Publication Date 2009
    Publisher UNU-MERIT
    Abstract Empirical research on strategic alliances has focused on the idea that alliance partners are selected on the basis of social capital considerations. In this paper we emphasize instead the role of complementary knowledge stocks (broadly defined) in partner selection, arguing not only that knowledge complementarity should not be overlooked, but that is may be the true causal force behind alliance formation. To marshal evidence on this point, we design a simple model of partner selection in which firms ally for the purpose if learning and innovating, and in doing so create an industry network. We abstract completely from network-based structural and strategic motives for partner selection and focus instead on the idea that firms' knowledge bases must "fit" in order for joint learning and innovation to be possible, and thus for an alliance to be feasible. The striking result is what while containing no social capital considerations, the simple model replicates the firm conduct, network structure, and contingent effects of network position on performance observed and discussed in the empirical literature.
    Keyword Network formation and dynamics
    Innovation
    Knowledge
    Alliances
    JEL D8
    D2
    L14
    L2
    O3
    Copyright Holder UNU-MERIT
    Copyright Year 2009
    ISSN 1871-9872
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    Created: Wed, 11 Dec 2013, 16:35:35 JST