The Impact on Innovation of Collaboration and Acquisition Sequencing



Acquisition and collaboration are actively used for external knowledge acquisition and organisational learning but little is known about how different patterns of sequencing and the intensity of these activities impact on the innovation performance of firms. This paper fills in this important gap in the literature by identifying a typology of sequencing strategies of collaborative and acquisition activities and examining their impact on innovation using a panel dataset of Chinese firms from 2007 to 2011.  It identifies four different types of sequencing strategies and finds contrasting innovation outcomes are associated with these different patterns.  Furthermore, the impact of sequencing patterns is moderated by the intensity with which collaborations and acquisitions are implemented. Undertaking both collaborations and acquisitions simultaneously and continuously can produce the best innovation performance; but if this is implemented at a high intensity, this may hamper innovation. Firms should not just pay attention to absorption but should also consider digestion when evaluating potential collaborations and acquisitions.

Working Paper