Title: Ambiguity and knowledge transfer in innovation alliances

Authors: Ricarda B. Bouncken

Addresses: Lehrstuhl für strategisches Management und Organisation, Universität Bayreuth, Universitätsstr, 30 95447 Bayreuth, Germany

Abstract: Open innovation is one trigger of innovation. So are alliances. Yet, innovations always require interaction and to some degree openness among firms, which is still associated with dangers. Project-based conditions of openness, particularly the ability to reduce dangers of opportunism through social and causal ambiguities remain unexplored in alliance research. Using an empirical study of 114 biotechnology firms, this paper explores the effect of causal ambiguities and social complexity on firms' willingness to give their alliance partners access to their knowledge. Through the examination of main and of mediating factors, this paper uncovers integrated protection which is different to openness.

Keywords: ambiguity; knowledge transfer; innovation alliances; bioechnology industry; biotech firms; causal ambiguities; social complexity; integrated protection; openness; knowledge access.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2015.073644

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2015 Vol.7 No.4, pp.309 - 323

Received: 26 Jul 2014
Accepted: 20 Aug 2014

Published online: 15 Dec 2015 *

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