Inventions come in many different forms ranging from incremental technical change to radical inventions. Radical inventions are very important for industry competition as well as for individual firm survival. In spite of many theoretical discussions on the effect of radical inventions the specific nature of radical inventions has so far remained relatively unclear. We try to shed some light on the nature of these radical inventions by investigating a group of radical, as well as a group of non-radical inventions. We find that recombination is very important for radical inventions. They are also to a large extend based on emergent...
LI, Ying; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim; SCHOENMAKERS, Wilfred
There has been a burgeoning literature about exploitation and exploration since March's seminal article in 1991. However, in reviewing the extant literature we find different interpretations of both concepts leading to ambiguity and even some inconsistency. This paper focuses in particular on the interpretation of exploration and exploitation in the literature on technological innovation. It addresses two critical research questions. First, what are the different interpretations of exploitation and exploration? Second, how can we set up a framework that reconciles these differences and reduces the ambiguity that we find in the literature? To answer these two questions, we first explain...
Cabus, P; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim
Flanders is a densely populated, strongly urbanised region in Northwest Europe, but with still recognisable peri-urban rural territories. These territories have a distinct economic profile that is far from being marginal, but which has a diminishing role for agriculturally related economic activities. From a regionally-based economic approach, the authors argue that these rural areas act as flanking areas for the nearby urban areas, with mutual benefits. Therefore a model representing local economic development in these flanking rural territories can only be relevant if it takes into account this urban-rural partnership, in respect to the territorial identity and cultural features of...
Van de Vrande, Vareska; Lemmens, Charmianne; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim
This study examines the effect of uncertainty on governance mode choice of interfirm relationships in new business development (NBD). We combine transaction cost economics and real options reasoning, arguing that in the early stages of NBD, where technological and market uncertainty are very high, companies are better off using governance modes that are reversible and involve a low level of commitment. When uncertainty has decreased as a result of prior R&D investments, transaction costs considerations become dominant and companies will shift towards governance modes that are less reversible and more hierachical. We argue that technological distance leads to less hierarchical...
van de Vrande, Vareska; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim; DUYSTERS, Geert
Innovating firms often invest in a number of different technology projects, in different stages of development, using a wide range of distinct technology sourcing modes, such as strategic alliances, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions. Recently, firms have also gained an increasing awareness of the potential benefits of corporate venture capital investments. This paper investigates the particular role of corporate venture capital investments in the technology sourcing portfolio of firms. More specifically, we focus on the extent to which corporate venture capital investments are additive or complementary to other modes of technology sourcing when explaining the innovative performance of firms....
Chen, Jin; Chen, Yufen; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim
It is commonly accepted nowadays that external knowledge sources are important for firms' innovative performance. However, it is still not clear, what dimensions of firms' external knowledge search strategy are crucial in determining their innovation success and whether these search strategies are contingent on different innovation modes. In this study, we analyse how the innovative performance is affected by the scope, depth, and orientation of firms' external search strategies. We apply this analysis to firms using STI (science, technology and innovation) and DUI (doing, using and interacting) innovation modes. Based on a survey among firms in China, we find that...
Li, Ying; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim
Innovations are critical driving forces for firms to engage in corporate growth and new business development. Innovating firms are increasingly generating new knowledge in collaboration with partners. In this paper, we analyze how the knowledge differences between the innovating firms and their suppliers in Canada are likely to result in pioneering innovations. The knowledge difference is decomposed into two dimensions: the inter-industrial dimension and the geographic dimension in national context. Using the Canadian Innovation database, we found the inter-industry difference has a positive effect and the country difference has a negative effect on the likelihood of generating pioneering innovation. The...
VANHAVERBEKE, Wim; Gilsing, Victor; Beerkens, Bonnie; DUYSTERS, Geert
This paper studies the effect of a focal firm, and its partners' local alliance actions, on the creation of technological innovations by the former. More specifically, we study how two types of redundancy in a focal firm's ego network affect its ability to create new technologies in its technology core areas (exploitation) and/or non-core areas (exploration). We analyse this empirically in three different industry settings: chemicals, motor vehicles, and pharmaceuticals. One of our key findings is that individual firms can indeed boost both types of innovative output by shaping the degree of redundancy in their local alliance network, but that...
VERCAUTEREN, Anne; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim
The paper shows how customer interaction in industrial markets enables the creation of a value offer tailored to the target market's needs. The resource dependence theory helps understand how in technology driven environments early customer interaction provides direction to research and development efforts. The empirical part of the paper is a detailed description of a development project in a large chemicals company. Interactions with various types of firms in the target market for the product under development are discussed and analyzed. The driver of these interactions is a mutual dependence.
VANHAVERBEKE, Wim; DUYSTERS, Geert; Noorderhaven, Niels
In today's turbulent business environment innovation is the result of the interplay between two distinct but related factors: endogenous R&D efforts and (quasi) external acquisition of technology and know-how. Given the increasing importance of innovation, it is vital to understand more about the alternative mechanisms-such as alliances and acquisitions-that can be used to enhance the innovative performance of companies. Most of the literature has dealt with these alternatives as isolated issues. Companies, however, are constantly challenged to choose between acquisitions and strategic alliances, given the limited resources that can be spent on research and development. This paper contributes to the...
Nooteboom, Bart; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim; DUYSTERS, Geert; Gilsing, Victor; van den Oord, Ad
In this paper we test the relation between cognitive distance and innovation performance of firms engaged in technology-based alliances. The key finding is that the hypothesis of an inverted U-shaped effect of cognitive distance on innovation performance of firms is confirmed. Moreover, as expected, we found that the positive effect for firms is much higher when engaging in more radical, exploratory alliances than in more exploitative alliances. The effect of cumulative R&D turns out to be mixed. It appears to increase absorptive capacity, as expected, but there is clear evidence that it also reduces the effect of cognitive distance on...
Cabus, P.; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim
As the network economy is continuing to develop, external economies are taking over internal economies and they are increasingly determining the entrepreneurial logic. To evaluate the territorial impact of this new logic a theoretical framework is developed based on a division of external economies between agglomeration economies that play a role in the economic functioning of urban areas and network economies that result from the networking among firms.
The general picture of firms located in Flanders is one of intense networking within agglomerations, especially in their networking with suppliers, together with intense short and long distance relationships, where urban areas dominate...
van de Vrande, V.; Lemmens, C.; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim
This study examines the effect of uncertainty on governance mode choice of interfirm relationships in new business development (NBD). We combine transaction cost economics and real options reasoning, arguing that in the early stages of NBD, where technological and market uncertainty are very high, companies are better off using governance modes that are reversible and involve a low level of commitment. When uncertainty has decreased as a result of prior R&D investments, transaction costs considerations become dominant and companies will shift towards governance modes that are less reversible and more hierarchical. We argue that technological distance leads to less hierarchical...
VANHAVERBEKE, Wim; Larosse, Jan; Winnen, Wouter
In this contribution we present a strategic analysis of the cluster dynamics in the frozen-vegetable industry in Flanders (Belgium). The main purpose of this case is twofold. First, we determine the added value of using data about customer and supplier relationships in cluster analysis. Second, we experiment with a methodology for analysing the cooperation and cluster formation in competitive niche markets by combining various quantitative and qualitative sources of information.
SCHOENMAKERS, Wilfred; DUYSTERS, Geert; VANHAVERBEKE, Wim
This paper looks at the special characteristics of radical inventions. It tries to identify
those variables that differentiate radical inventions from non-radical inventions. Since radical
inventions are very important for the economy as a whole and for the individual firm
performances, understanding what makes radical inventions differ from non-radical
inventions is very important.
For our research we made use of the EPO (European Patent Office) database on
patents. We used the number of forward patent citations per patent to identify radical from
non-radical inventions. For our analysis we used the backward patent citations per patent.
In order to test if the two groups we are considering are truly...