Organizing the Innovation Process: Complementarities in Innovation Networking
This paper contributes to the developing literature on complementarities in organizational design. We test for the existence of complementarities in the use of external networking between stages of the innovation process in a sample of UK and German manufacturing plants. Our evidence suggests some differences between the UK and Germany in terms of the optimal combination of innovation activities in which to implement external networking. Broadly, there is more evidence of complementarities in the case of Germany, with the exception of the product engineering stage. By contrast, the UK exhibits generally strong evidence of substitutability in external networking in different stages, except between the identification of new products and product design and development stages. These findings suggest that previous studies indicating strong complementarity between internal and external knowledge sources have provided only part of the picture of the strategic dilemmas facing firms.
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