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Innovation in Technology Alliance Networks
This book studies the dynamics of alliance group formation in technology-based networks. The author attempts to develop the concept of alliance blocks from a social network perspective, and explores the relationship between alliance block membership and innovative performance in a changing technological environment. The book demonstrates that as an alliance network grows, the likelihood of alliance block formation also increases. Over time the technology profiles of alliance block members tend to become more similar, which eventually leads to a reduction in innovative activity. However, the author presents evidence that by pursuing a block membership strategy under conditions of cumulative or disruptive technological change, innovative performance can be improved. She also reveals that, when compared to their non-member counterparts, firms in alliance blocks are likely to apply for more patents, hold more central positions in the network, have larger revenues and undertake more R&D intensive research. In addition, they are also inclined to originate from an Asian background.
This is the first book to propose a well-developed theoretical framework, supported by empirical evidence, to explain alliance block formation processes and their effect on innovative performance. As such, it fills a substantial gap in the literature on competitive rivalry among alliances, an increasingly important area of research. It will be essential reading for academics and practitioners in the fields of industrial organization, strategic management, technological alliances, competition and innovation studies.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'The rapid proliferation of alliances has not only initiated new forms of cooperation among companies but also ushered in a new era of competition. Today, cooperative agreements have become an integral part of competitive strategies. In spite of the many books on alliances, this excellent text is one of the first to integrate collaborative behaviour and technology competition into one comprehensive framework. This is an essential book for every manager and academic interested in the use of alliances for innovative renewal.' - Geert Duysters, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands; 'This careful study analyzes how alliances transform rivalry from firm versus firm to group versus group. It shows that a firm's network of alliances influences its performance and strategic options - enhancing competitive advantage at times, but also constraining flexibility at other times. A must-read for anyone thinking about alliance strategy.' - Benjamin Gomes-Casseres, Brandeis University, US