The Influence of R&D Partnerships on Innovation Performance in Manufacturing Firms: The Moderating Role of Institutional Attachment

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Purpose – The aim of this paper is to investigate how a manufacturer's relationship with firms operating in different institutional logics can facilitate or hinder the outcomes of research partnerships. Design/methodology/approach – The paper tests the study hypotheses based on a survey of 345 Chinese manufacturers. Findings – Results reveal that a manufacturer's partnerships with private firms and government institutions are both directly related to the manufacturer's innovation performance. However, the effectiveness of the research partnerships depends on the different institutional logics within which these organizations operate. Research limitations/implications – This study used a binary variable to capture the existence or absence of the partnership types examined implying that this variable does not capture the quantity of R&D relationships the firm is engaged in or the time period of such engagements. Practical implications – It is important for management to take into account the joint effect of both the firm and its partner's underlying institutional logics in establishing partnership relationships since the juxtaposition of different institutional logics can affect the outcomes of the relationship. Originality/value – This research draws from institutional theory to contribute to knowledge in the area of innovation by emphasizing the importance of the overarching institutional logic on the effectiveness of different types of innovation-driven research partnerships.