Title: The impact of competition and collaboration networks on innovation performance

Authors: Jingjing Zhang; Yan Yan; Jiancheng Guan

Addresses: School of Public Policy and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China ' School of Business, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China ' Binzhou Institute of Technology, 256600, Binzhou, Shandong, China; School of Economics and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

Abstract: Both collaboration and competition networks have received considerable attention in the inter-organisational network literature. However, prior studies treat them as more or less isolated networks. This study highlights that the two networks should be studied together to better understand which combination of the different levels of the characteristics of competition and collaboration networks is optimal for a firm's innovation performance. We construct product and technological competition networks to describe competition networks, and use alliance and technological collaboration networks to represent collaboration networks. We focus on the tie strength and density of ego competition and collaboration networks. We combine multiple data sources and finally examine 12,068 firms in the Chinese computer and communication industries from 2000 to 2013 to test our hypotheses. We find that firms with weak competition and strong collaboration strength and firms embedded in dense competition and sparse collaboration ego networks exhibit high innovation performance. We advance the current research on competition and collaboration networks and contribute to the current debates about the significance of the two network features for improving a firm's innovation performance.

Keywords: collaboration network; competition network; tie strength; network density; innovation performance; patent.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2023.128794

International Journal of Technology Management, 2023 Vol.91 No.3/4, pp.239 - 263

Accepted: 13 Jan 2022
Published online: 06 Feb 2023 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article