Formation conditions, innovation, and learning in R&D consortia
Purpose This paper aims to focus on formation motivations and processes of R&D consortia to appreciate their differential innovative and learning capabilities. Design/methodology/approach The paper presents its argument in two separate steps. First, a twobytwo framework, comprising four consortium types, is developed based on two formation motivations (i.e. risk sharing and networking) and two formation processes (i.e. emergent and engineered). Four case vignettes are used to demonstrate the practical relevance of the twobytwo consortium typology framework. Second, the innovative and learning capabilities of each of these consortia are explored and eight propositions are advanced. Findings The paper introduces four types of consortia: community builders, gamblers, visible hands, and opportunists. It is argued that visible hands generate greater innovation than community builders and opportunists, and community builders and opportunists generate greater innovation than gamblers. It is also argued that government involvement moderates the relationship between consortia type and innovative capabilities in an inverted U shape. Lastly, relative appropriateness of frequency, outcome, and trait imitations to facilitate organizationlevel learning among consortium members is explored. Originality/value The main contribution of this paper lies in its twobytwo typology of consortium formation contextual conditions. Instead of focusing on evolutionary cycles and performance issues of consortia, this paper draws research attention to contextual conditions surrounding consortia formation. Consortium formation contextual conditions are critically important because they predetermine the life cycle and performance trajectory of consortia. This paper also links innovation and learning dynamics in consortia. © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Eisner, Alan B.; Rahman, Noushi; and Korn, Helaine J., "Formation conditions, innovation, and learning in R&D consortia" (2009). School of Management. 130.