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European Collaboration in Research and Development

Business Strategy and Public Policy

Edited by Yannis Caloghirou, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Stavros Ioannides

The contributions collected in this volume focus explicitly on cooperative R & D in Europe. The first part of the book offers empirical evidence on the extent, scope and direction of this collaboration and explores the motives and problems of the participating firms, as well as the perceived benefits they have enjoyed. The second part deals with the difficult policy issues that diverse national R & D regimes create for successful cooperative research and international convergence. The extensive survey results of European firms allow the authors to compare collaborative research policies in various EU countries and contrast the policy design that has emerged in the EU with that of the USA.
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Chapter 2: Research Joint Ventures: A Survey of the Theoretical Literature

Yannis Caloghirou, Stavros Ioannides and Nicholas S. Vonortas


Yannis Caloghirou, Stavros Ioannides and Nicholas S. Vonortas The phenomenon of cooperative R&D has attracted a great deal of both theoretical and empirical work in recent years, for a variety of reasons. Let us just mention two here. The first is that the growing willingness of firms to engage in cooperative R&D – thus sharing control over it – seems to contradict the long held conviction that R&D constitutes the absolute ‘core’ of the firm’s essence. Thus cooperative R&D seems to raise questions that lie at the heart of the nature of the firm, as this is perceived by economic theory. Secondly, the explanation of the RJV phenomenon may have major implications for policy. If RJVs are viewed as efforts by participating firms to restrict competition, then policy should be directed against them, on the basis of well-established antitrust principles. If, on the other hand, RJVs are viewed as helping the cooperating firms to build competitive advantages while, at the same time, leaving the competitive market framework unchanged, they should be encouraged. This chapter presents and discusses critically various theoretical approaches to RJVs and attempts to link these approaches to the underlying theories of the firm. We thus take heed of Ronald Coase’s question ‘What determines what a firm does?’; and of his response that ‘To answer this question, it is necessary to understand why a firm exists at all . . .’ (1972, p. 62). According to the logic of this statement, differing explanations of what...

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