The role of distance in inter-firm learning for global R&D alliances

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Abstract

Although knowledge creation through global alliance s has been popular, the extant literature has shown mixed findings on the relationship between partner knowledge gap and inter-firm learning. The relationship becomes more complicated in the global context because international collaboration poses different types of distance constraints on inter-firm learning. We examine the link between partner knowledge gap and inter-firm learning, as well as the moderating effects of three types of distances namely, global-connectedness, cultural, and geographic distance, based on the dataset collected from 236 global research and development (R&D) alliances formed between U.S. firms and their global partners in the bioscience and pharmaceutical industry. Our results indica te that partner knowledge gap induces inter-firm learning, such that the rivalry within an alliance is possibly reduced. The three types of distance differ in their moderating roles in the relationship between partner knowledge gap and interfirm learning. Our study identifies multi-faceted effects of distance and highlights the contextual setting in international management in consideration of the distance effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-208
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Business and Economic Research
Volume14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

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