R&D Management 2015 Conference Track

R&D Management Conference 2015
(Fast?) Connecting R&D

Pisa, Italy, 23-26 June
Conference Track

Strategic Alliances, Business Groups and Innovation: Research Opportunities and Challenges

Giovanni Battista Dagnino and Pasquale Massimo Picone

Web site:

This track of the 2015 R&D Management Conference in Pisa, Italy (23-26 June, 2015) aims to stimulate research on managing and organizing R&D and innovation processes in strategic alliances and business groups. While widely recognized as increasingly relevant issue in the business world, the study of the relationships between strategic alliances, business groups and the spread out of innovation is a relatively uncultivated area in management studies that calls for receiving deeper specific attention.

For this track, we invite scholars and students from various disciplines to submit their best conceptual and empirical studies that contribute to deepen our understanding of how strategic alliances and business groups may be able to integrate knowledge and generate innovation through processes of knowledge recombination and assimilation within and across their boundaries. We anticipate that we are open to papers that bear various theoretical stances and empirical methods given that they are thoroughly designed and coherently crafted.

Research Questions
While we are interested in the study of the relationships between strategic alliances, business groups and innovation in a broad sense, in more detail we look forward to seeing abstracts of papers and research papers that address the intriguing research spaces related to:
a) How do knowledge and R&D features moderate the relationship between strategic alliance and innovative performance?
b) How and why do country-specific dimensions affect knowledge sharing within strategic alliance and firm innovation?
c) How the ‘dynamic dance’ between cooperative and competitive tensions in a strategic alliance affects the alliance’s innovativeness level?
d) What are the single firm’s capabilities to take advantage of participation to strategic alliances and business groups?
e) How do value appropriation processes within business group and strategic alliance impact on knowledge longevity and transfer?
f) Does business group affiliation stimulate radical innovation or incremental innovation?
g) What are the governance mechanisms driving affiliated firms’ innovation in business groups? How can they be used?
h) What are business group’s coordination mechanisms helpful to stimulate affiliated firm innovation?


Belenzon, S., & Berkovitz, T. (2010). Innovation in business groups. Management Science, 56(3), 519-535.

Chang, S. J., Chung, C. N., & Mahmood, I. P. (2006). When and how does business group affiliation promote firm innovation? A tale of two emerging economies. Organization Science, 17(5), 637-656.

Dagnino, G.B., Levanti, G., Minà, A., and Picone, M. (2014). Interorganizational Network and Innovation: A Bibliometric Study and Proposed Research Agenda. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. In press

Forrest, J. E., & Martin, M. J. C. (1992). Strategic alliances between large and small research intensive organizations: experiences in the biotechnology industry. R&D Management, 22(1), 041-054.

Hagedoorn, J., & Duysters, G. (2002). External sources of innovative capabilities: the preferences for strategic alliances or mergers and acquisitions. Journal of Management Studies, 39(2), 167-188.

Hess, A. M., & Rothaermel, F. T. (2011). When are assets complementary? Star scientists, strategic alliances, and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. Strategic Management Journal, 32(8), 895-909.

Jacob, J., Belderbos, R., & Gilsing, V. (2013). Technology alliances in emerging economies: Persistence and interrelation in European firms’ alliance formation. R&D Management, 43(5), 447-460.

Joshi, A. M., & Nerkar, A. (2011). When do strategic alliances inhibit innovation by firms? Evidence from patent pools in the global optical disc industry. Strategic Management Journal, 32(11), 1139-1160.

Karamanos, A. G. (2012). Leveraging micro‐and macro‐structures of embeddedness in alliance networks for exploratory innovation in biotechnology. R&D Management, 42(1), 71-89.

Leiponen, A., & Helfat, C. E. (2010). Innovation objectives, knowledge sources, and the benefits of breadth. Strategic Management Journal, 31(2), 224-236.

Meier, M. (2011). Knowledge management in strategic alliances: A review of empirical evidence. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(1), 1-23.

Vissa, B., Greve, H. R., & Chen, W. R. (2010). Business group affiliation and firm search behavior in India: Responsiveness and focus of attention. Organization Science, 21(3), 696-712.