Since the 1980s the shortening of product and technology life cycles and the overlapping of technological trajectories have pushed firms to reconsider their innovation strategies. In this context cooperation in R&D and innovation widens their technology base and is used to complement internal resources.
A large number of empirical and theoretical studies have been devoted to inter-firm cooperation in innovative activities. Generally these analyses show that cooperation affects innovation positively and, as a consequence, firms’ performances. Other results suggest that the innovation capability of firms is stimulated through the relationship established with external partners.
Strategic alliances concerning innovation are increasing in order to facilitate the coordination of complex projects that firms could not carry out individually. In some cases cooperation in innovation is not in addition to, but instead of investing internally in R&D. Of course these alliances can have implications for antitrust and competition, as highlighted by some authors, but generally national and regional governments are increasingly incorporating public support for coordination among firms into their policies.
In spite of this interest, another strand of the literature emphasises the high rate of failure in cooperative agreements for innovation, especially when direct competitors are involved. Moreover, the rise of these networks as a new method of collaboration (also concerning innovation) has opened a new perspective of analysis involving a larger theoretical approach.
The aim of this special issue is to reconsider cooperation for innovation in an interdisciplinary approach in which management, industrial organisation, economics of innovation, public policy and local development can coexist and offer a better interpretation. Submissions from academic researchers, consultants and managers are strongly encouraged. Papers can employ both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Cooperation for innovation among firms
- Cooperative innovation in networks and clusters
- Historical trends
- Typologies of cooperation
- Formal and informal cooperation
- Vertical and horizontal cooperation
- Determinants of success/failure
- Public policies for cooperation
- Geographical proximity in cooperation
- Case studies
Submission of manuscripts: 30 November, 2012
Notification to authors: 31 January, 2013
Final versions due: 28 February, 2013