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The complementarities and contextualities of corporate R&D strategies: An empirical analysis of Korean manufacturing industry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 February 2015

Donghyuk Choi
Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning, Seoul, South Korea
Sungki Lee
Korea Institute of Intellectual Property, Seoul, South Korea
Yeonbae Kim
Technology Management, Economics and Policy Program, College of Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea


By reflecting upon recent theoretical developments in open innovation studies, we shed new light on diverse potential sources of complementarities between corporate R&D activities as well as on contextual factors that could affect the complementarities. In particular, to break from the previous discussions confined to absorptive capacity, we considered the diverse knowledge management processes of knowledge exploration, retention, and exploitation. Then we empirically examined the existence of complementarities between corporate R&D strategies and uncovered the contextual factors. Our empirical results suggest the possible existence of a complementary relationship between in-house and joint R&D. We also discovered the firm-specific contextual variables, such as a firm's cumulative patent stocks and scientific information inflows from public research institutes and universities, that drive the decision to combine in-house and joint R&D. Our theoretical discussions on firms' diverse knowledge management processes allow more enriched understanding on these empirical findings.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2012

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