Failed and successful innovations: The role of geographic proximity and international diversity of partners in technological collaboration Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2021

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 13

issue

  • 120575

volume

  • 166

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0040-1625

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5509

abstract

  • We aim to clarify the role of research partnerships on the success and failure of innovation projects by examining the geographic proximity and diversity of partners. First, we argue that collaboration with geographically near partners will contribute relatively more to innovation success than it does to innovation failure, while collaboration with geographically distant partners will contribute relatively more to innovation failure than it does to innovation success. Second, we postulate that lower levels of international diversity will contribute relatively more to innovation success than it does to innovation failure, while higher levels of international diversity will contribute relatively more to innovation failure than it does to innovation success. Using a large dataset of firms for the period 2008–2013, we perform a joint analysis of failed and successful innovations. Our empirical findings support our theoretical arguments. Our results highlight the relevance of studying both failed and successful innovations and the importance of knowing their determinants to manage the innovation process successfully. Moreover, our findings should alert managers to the importance of geographic location when choosing collaboration partners. It is noteworthy that beyond a certain threshold, international diversity begins to act as a brake on innovation success and to increase the likelihood of failure.

keywords

  • failed innovation; successful innovation; international collaboration; proximity; diversity