Title: Structure of interfirm alliance networks: understanding the influence of industry characteristics

Authors: Varghese P. George

Addresses: Rutgers Business School, Management and Global Business Department, 111 Washington Street, MEC-324, Newark, NJ 07102, USA

Abstract: A clear understanding of where interfirm cooperation thrives, and where it does not, has theoretical and practical implications. In this paper, using a US economy-wide alliance dataset, I distinguish the conditions under which the phenomenon becomes prevalent. Just as there are industries that are traditionally R&D intensive (e.g. pharmaceuticals, computers and biotechnology), manufacturing intensive (e.g. paper, aluminium and chemical), and advertising intensive (pharmaceuticals, food and cigarettes), are there industries that are alliance-intensive? Can we distinguish those industries based on other characteristics that we already know? We ask such questions in this paper. Results show that, controlling for size, in both large and small industries in the USA, R&D intensity is the only major statistically significant predictor of formation of interfirm alliances. The comprehensiveness of the data provides extraordinary validity to the above and the related findings reported.

Keywords: interfirm alliances; joint ventures; inter-organisational relationships; R&D intensity; industry-level study; network structure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2004.003520

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2004 Vol.3 No.1, pp.84 - 110

Available online: 12 Sep 2003 *

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