Collaborating for knowledge creation and application: The case of nanotechnology research programs

Dovev Lavie*, Israel Drori

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We study how collaboration and internal resources drive knowledge creation and application in university research programs. Academic collaboration with fellow university scientists drives knowledge creation, whereas collaboration with industry partners drives knowledge application. Nevertheless, contrary to prior research that has underscored the merits of collaboration, we identify an optimal level of collaboration beyond which collaboration undermines both processes. Furthermore, the availability of internal resources can either complement or substitute for collaboration depending on the level of collaboration. In particular, we find that availability of internal resources mitigates the effect of academic collaboration on knowledge creation when collaboration is moderate and complements it as collaboration becomes excessive. Thus, our study reveals the contingent value of collaboration and the interplay between internal and network resources. It enhances understanding of collaboration in nascent science-driven industries and advances the resource-based view and knowledge management research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-724
Number of pages21
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Alliance
  • Application
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge
  • Nanotechnology
  • Network
  • Partnering
  • Resource
  • University research


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