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Casting a wide net for innovation: The mediating effect of R&D human and social capital to unlock the value from Alliance Portfolio Diversity

Garcia Martinez, Marian, Zouaghi, Ferdaous, Sanchez Garcia, Mercedes (2019) Casting a wide net for innovation: The mediating effect of R&D human and social capital to unlock the value from Alliance Portfolio Diversity. British Journal of Management, 30 (4). pp. 769-790. ISSN 1045-3172. E-ISSN 1467-8551. (doi:10.1111/1467-8551.12310) (KAR id:67101)


This paper examines the performance effects associated with different alliance portfolio configurations in terms of geographical location and partner type. Based on these distinctions, we hypothesise that more diverse alliance portfolios enable firms to gain and exploit innovation opportunities. Additionally, the mediating effects of R&D human and social capital on the R&D alliance portfolio diversity-innovation performance relationship are explored. We reason that the absorptive capacity of R&D intellectual capital determines a firm’s potential gains from highly diverse alliance portfolios. Using panel data of manufacturing firms in Spain for the period 2008-2013, our results confirm the inverted U-shaped relationship between alliance portfolio diversity and firm innovation performance, implying that both insufficient and excessive alliance portfolio diversity may be detrimental to firm innovativeness. Additionally, R&D human and social capital partially mediates the R&D alliance diversity-innovation performance relationship emphasising the importance of internal capabilities to leverage the benefits of highly diverse alliance portfolios. These findings add a dynamic dimension to the conceptualisation of alliance portfolios and how firms create value by balancing explorative and exploitative alliances.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1467-8551.12310
Uncontrolled keywords: alliance portfolio diversity, R&D human capital, R&D social capital, innovation performance, absorptive capacity, alliance capabilities, generalised structural equation model
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Marian Garcia
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 10:39 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Garcia Martinez, Marian.

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