Cooperation Events, Ego-Network Characteristics and Firm Innovativeness – Empirical Evidence from the German Laser Industry
We study how firm innovativeness is related to individual cooperation events and the structure and dynamics of firms’ ego-networks employing a unique panel dataset for the full population of 233 German laser source manufactures between 1990 and 2010. Firm innovativeness is measured by yearly patent applications as well as patent grants with a two year time-lag. Network measures are calculated on the basis of 570 knowledge-related publicly funded R&D alliances. Estimation results from a panel data count model with fixed effects are suggestive of direct innovation effects due to individual cooperation events, but only as long as structural ego-network characteristics are neglected. Innovativeness is robustly related to ego-network size and ego-network brokerage whereas ego-network density reveals some surprising results.