When firms are faced by emerging and high novelty innovation potentials, forming a technological consortium has become a frequently used model to jointly develop and exchange critical new technological knowledge. This sets the role of knowledge boundaries and boundary crossing at the forefront. Existing literature, however, offers little in-depth insight into why and how such inter-organizational collaborations often encounter difficulties in crossing these boundaries and thus in accomplishing the expected joint knowledge creation and exchange. Departing from Carlile's (2004) integrated framework for managing knowledge across boundaries, in this paper we identify the knowledge boundaries present in a longitudinal R&D collaboration between six organizations. We analyzed how these boundaries were partially overcome, and present a fourth knowledge boundary, which causes major challenges in the inter-organizational R&D setting - we term this boundary an 'dissociative boundary'. Before closing, avenues for future research and implications for managers are briefly addressed.
Inter-organizational R&D; knowledge boundaries; knowledge creation; high-novelty; longitudinal study