Inter-firm collaboration in new product development in Chinese pharmaceutical companies

Xiaoqing Li, Yu Zheng, Catherine L. Wang

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High-tech firms increasingly rely on inter-firm collaboration (IFC) in new product development (NPD). Whilst there is a growing research interest in exploring the economic rationale of IFC through the transaction cost economics (TCE) and the resource synergy of IFC through the resource-based view of the firm (RBV), little attention has been given to the institution-based view (IBV) that also has important implications for firms’ choice of IFC. In particular, how national institutional environment affects IFC in the NPD process remains under-researched. This study aims to contribute to the literature by extending our understanding of the role of IFC in firms' NPD process, taking into account transactional, resource and institutional factors. Based on a case study of two firms: a state-owned and a private pharmaceutical firm in China, our research identifies three key forms of IFC, which are dynamic at different stages of NPD and contingent upon an array of institutional, resource and transactional rationales underpinning firms' choice of different forms of IFC. Our study is the first one that investigates the role of IFC in the NPD process bringing together the IBV, RBV and TCE perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-193
Number of pages29
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Issue number1
Early online date17 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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