Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a review of the empirical literature on inter-organizational R&D collaborations in order to highlight the tendencies in research methodologies so far and to identify possible future research directions. Design/methodology/approach – The literature review is based on a bibliographical search of a number of academic search engines. These sources include all the major management, organizational behavior, marketing, engineering, sociology, and psychology journals, thus ensuring a thorough search on the topic of inter-organizational R&D. The review includes papers from 1995 to 2010. Findings – The main focus of research on inter-organizational R&D is on innovation performance enablers, organizational and coordination aspects, and knowledge exchange. The vast majority of which is based on snapshot studies at the management or firm level of analysis that leave open questions regarding the actual inter-organizational innovation practices. To fill the gap evidenced in the literature, the author concludes that longitudinal qualitative micro-level research would help to expand existing knowledge on the practices in inter-organizational R&D. Research limitations/implications – The paper proposes a practice-based research framework for future studies of inter-organizational R&D, in order to gain a better understanding of the social dynamics of such collaborations. Originality/value – This paper focuses on empirical research in the area of inter-organizational R&D, and links the methodological approaches used to the limitations in the knowledge base of the topic.
Management Research, 2012, Vol 10, Issue 1, p. 43-63
Research and development; information exchange; inter-organizational collaboration; innovation; knowledge exchange; practice; research methods