THE IMPACT OF COLLABORATION NETWORK POSITION ON INNOVATIVE PERFORMANCE
This research investigates the impact of position in a collaboration network on the innovative performance of organizations (as measured by the number of patents issued). As inventions require recombination/reconfiguration of technological knowledge, an inventive organization seeks to maximize its opportunities using collaborations as conduits for inflow of technological knowledge. We surveyed 28 high-tech companies and universities located in Florida to reveal their collaboration networking map. Collaboration ties are identified by a reported alliance, supplier and customer relationship, common ownership, and social connection among organizations. Using UCINET, a Social Network Analysis tool, we obtained the network structural measures in order to test the hypotheses that high values in centrality metrics indicate higher innovative performance. The regression analyses imply that Eigenvalue Centrality has the most predictive power of the indicators of high innovative performance. Therefore, it suggests that an organization does not necessarily have to be central in its surrounding network but has to be in collaboration with central actors to benefit from the positive impact of its network position. The results also indicate that, as opposed to the other collaboration ties, customer and alliance connections have a stronger impact on the efforts of new product and service development.
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