Recombination for innovation: performance outcomes from international partnerships in China

Simon Collinson, Yipeng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the relationship between different types of international partnerships and innovation performance. By drawing on a conceptual framework which outlines how new bundles of transferrable and nontransferrable ownership advantages are created from such partnerships (Collinson and Narula,), we analyze empirical evidence from a large-scale survey of 320 individual company responses from the China-based operations of foreign multinational firms alongside in-depth case studies. Our study reveals that different types of collaborative partnerships (cooperative vs. competitive) are associated with different innovation performance outcomes (product vs. process innovation). In addition, we find that a sustainable, reciprocal relationship between collaborative partners can generate superior innovation performance. Contextual factors including the role of government and industry characteristics have an important bearing on innovation performance in collaborative partnerships in China. We conclude with implications for researchers, managers, and policymakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-63
Number of pages18
JournalR and D Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research comes from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) via the Advanced Institute for Management (AIM) in the UK, and is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 RADMA and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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