Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: Networks of learning in biotechnology

Walter W. Powell, Kenneth W Koput, Laurel Smith-Doerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4441 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We argue in this paper that when the knowledge base of an industry is both complex and expanding and the sources of expertise are widely dispersed, the locus of innovation will be found in networks of learning, rather than in individual firms. The large-scale reliance on interorganizational collaborations in the biotechnology industry reflects a fundamental and pervasive concern with access to knowledge. We develop a network approach to organizational learning and derive firm-level, longitudinal hypotheses that link research and development alliances, experience with managing interfirm relationships, network position, rates of growth, and portfolios of collaborative activities. We test these hypotheses on a sample of dedicated biotechnology firms in the years 1990-1994. Results from pooled, within-firm, time series analyses support a learning view and have broad implications for future theoretical and empirical research on organizational networks and strategic alliances.•.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-145
Number of pages30
JournalAdministrative Science Quarterly
Volume41
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Biotechnology
biotechnology
Innovation
innovation
firm
learning
Time series
Industry
industry
learning organization
research and development
time series
empirical research
expertise
Locus
Inter-organizational collaboration
Innovation networks
experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation : Networks of learning in biotechnology. / Powell, Walter W.; Koput, Kenneth W; Smith-Doerr, Laurel.

In: Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 1, 03.1996, p. 116-145.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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