The content and role of formal contracts in high-tech alliances

Gjalt de Jong*, Rosalinde J.A. Klein Woolthuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this study we investigate the governance structure of innovation processes in high-tech alliances, focusing on the content and role of formal contracts. The design of a formal agreement is one of the most important strategic decisions for alliance partners. Drawing upon transaction cost arguments and social exchange theory, we study the determinants of contractual detail of collaborative agreements in the Dutch high tech industry. The findings confirm important roles for transactional and relational characteristics. We also show that contracts have multiple functions: they are important to safeguard risks but are also used to co-ordinate alliance activities and show commitment; or to safeguard external contingencies. Each of these different dimensions has unique antecedents.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalInnovation: Management, Policy and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


  • Contract clauses
  • Contract functions
  • High tech alliances
  • Trust


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