The interaction between internal R&D and different types of external knowledge sourcing: an empirical study of Chinese innovative firms

Y. Chen, W. Vanhaverbeke, J. Du

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper investigates to what extent internal R&D efforts and different types of external knowledge sources jointly affect innovation performance of firms in emerging economies. Based on a survey about external knowledge sourcing activities of Chinese innovative firms, we categorize external knowledge sources into four groups: science-based partners; horizontal connections; value chain partners, and technology service providers. We find that both internal R&D activities and external knowledge sourcing have a positive effect on firms' innovation performance. Strong internal R&D capabilities also increase the effect of sourcing from value chain partners and horizontal connections, but we do not find support for complementarity between internal R&D and collaborations with universities and research labs. These findings jointly suggest that the mixture of different types of external knowledge partners in combination with internal R&D capabilities is crucial in understanding the role of open innovation in emerging economies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1023
JournalR&D Management
Volume46
Issue numberS3
Early online date30 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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