Differential benefits to firms participating in multipartner collaborative innovation
Great innovations seldom come from a single individual or firm. Rather, entire networks of people, usually sponsored by many firms drive great innovation, innovation that is rarely captured in a single product or service, but an entire platform sponsored by an ecosystem of firms. Many of these innovative platforms are guided by a visible hand, coalitions of firms that coordinate and collaborate. One such “visible hand” is the multipartner alliance, a collection of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of firms assembled to collaboratively define, develop, and promote innovation. While much research in collaborative innovation assumes homogenously available benefits and an exogenously determined appropriation of these benefits, this dissertation assumes heterogeneity and explores the degree to which benefits may be endogenously determined. The benefit of interest is a firm’s own innovation productivity based on technologies defined by the multipartner alliance. In studying firm actions, choices, and characteristics as they relate to participating in multipartner alliances, I examine the relationships between a firm’s innovation productivity and its entry timing, value-chain position, level of membership, contribution, timing of contribution, and size. These are tested primarily using hierarchical negative binomial regression and an original dataset developed in cooperation with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, a multipartner alliance of over 12,000 firms interested in defining, developing, and promoting short range wireless technology. Empirical findings suggest support of heterogeneity in the availability of benefits and a degree of endogeneity in how they are appropriated.