Combining internal and external R&D: The effects on innovation performance in family and nonfamily firms Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2020

start page

  • 996

end page

  • 1031


  • 5


  • 44

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1042-2587


  • We examine the effect of combining internal and external R&D loci on innovation performance in family firms (FF) and nonfamily firms (non-FFs). Our longitudinal analysis of 27,438 firm-year observations of Spanish manufacturing firms from 1990 to 2016 shows that FFs can better exploit the benefits of simultaneously engaging in internal and external R&D activities, leading to a positive effect on innovation performance. Moreover, the relationship between combined internal and external R&D and innovation performance in FFs is contingent upon firm economic performance. By pointing to the importance of taking into account the combination of internal and external R&D loci to foster innovation in FFs, we challenge current family business innovation research.


  • Business
  • Economics


  • external r&d; family firm; innovation performance; internal r&d; open innovation; absorptive capacity