New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Gavin Boyd, Alan M. Rugman and Pier Carlo Padoan
Simona Iammarino and Daniele Archibugi* International collaborations are a signiﬁcant and increasingly important channel of diffusion of knowledge in both the public and the business sectors. Their importance has grown, as testiﬁed by the number of partnerships among public research centres, universities and ﬁrms (National Science Foundation, 2002). Collaboration for knowledge creation and diffusion has received a widespread consensus from analysts. It has been stressed that collaboration allows increasing the number of agents able to beneﬁt from knowledge, and that it provides expanding learning opportunities. It permits the partners to share each other’s expertise, by enriching overall know-how (Hagedoorn et al., 2000). Collaborations can be seen as a positive sum game and the partners acquire more advantages than disadvantages, although the net gains are not always equally distributed among them (see Gambardella and Malerba, 1999, esp. p II). However different propensities towards knowledge collaboration characterize different economies. Such propensities are in fact highly dependent on cultural speciﬁcities, societal norms, industrial structures and a broad range of institutions that inﬂuence economic performance (Lundan, 2003). A crucial factor in determining the propensity to knowledge collaboration is the link between ﬁrms’ behaviour and institutional settings, which varies typically between ‘coordinated’ economies, such as many European countries and Japan, and ‘liberal market’ economies, such as the USA, but also the UK. It has been pointed out that, while in the former cooperation tends to be based on consensus, occurring traditionally through industry associations, and is disciplined by standardized contractual...
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