A competition-based explanation of collaborative invention within the firm

Puay Khoon Toh, Francisco Polidoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Existing literature shows that collaborative invention within the firm enhances innovativeness by facilitating knowledge recombination. Despite such benefit, firms vary in their use of collaborative invention when drawing on their individual inventors' knowledge. In addressing this puzzle, we argue that competition from rival products building on similar knowledge compels firms to favor search depth over exploratory search and respond expeditiously, thus reducing a firm's inclination toward collaborative invention. In contrast with prior research's focus on how upstream resources influence a firm's position in downstream markets, this study shows that downstream competition drives heterogeneity across firms in their utilization of upstream resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1208
Number of pages23
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • collaboration
  • competition
  • exploration
  • innovation
  • knowledge-based resources
  • pharmaceuticals


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