A firm can improve its innovation either by its internal research and development (R&D) efforts or by forming external collaborative R&D alliances. While previous studies on R&D collaboration and knowledge diffusion mainly focus on various external sources of R&D collaboration, little effort has been made to investigate the joint impact of competitive and non-competitive R&D collaborations on firm innovation simultaneously. By examining the data of 165 Taiwanese firms in the information and communication technology industry, we find that: (1) non-competitive R&D collaborations with universities have a positive direct impact on firm’s innovation performance; and (2) both non-competitive and competitive R&D collaborations have a positively moderating effect on the relationship between a firm’s internal R&D efforts and firm innovation and the positive moderating effect is higher for non-competitive R&D collaborations than that of competitive R&D collaborations. These findings suggest that R&D collaborations, either non-competitive or competitive, exhibit the nature of a win–win situation. We also derive implications for firms’ selection of R&D alliance partners and government policies.
The Journal of Technology Transfer, 36(4), 383-403