Title: Knowledge flow at the fuzzy front-end of inter-firm R&D collaborations – insights into SMEs in the pharmaceutical industry

Authors: Andreas Braun; Elisabeth Mueller; Silvia Adelhelm; Gergana Vladova

Addresses: Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Potsdam, August-Bebel-Str. 89, 14482 Potsdam, Germany. ' Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Potsdam, August-Bebel-Str. 89, 14482 Potsdam, Germany. ' Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Potsdam, August-Bebel-Str. 89, 14482 Potsdam, Germany. ' Business Information Systems and Electronic Government, University of Potsdam, August-Bebel-Str. 89, 14482 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract: In this paper we present the preliminary results of our research which explores the role of reciprocal knowledge flow in the fuzzy front-end of collaboration activities. On the basis of desk research, i.e., a secondary research, we develop a model to display the impact of open innovation capacities in the initiation and constitution phases. We then match this model with our empirical findings in a study with pharmaceutical SMEs. We find that both absorptive and desorptive capacities play a pivotal role in the interaction of potential cooperation partners. During the negotiation process, however, the importance of these capacities shifts from the firm to the personal level.

Keywords: inter-firm R&D; R&D collaboration; absorptive capacity; desorptive capacity; knowledge flow; flow modelling; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; pharmaceutical industry; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2012.044075

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2012 Vol.15 No.1/2, pp.29 - 46

Available online: 02 Dec 2011 *

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