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Does Partner Type Matter in R&D Collaboration for Environmental Innovation?

In the literature on environmental innovations R&D collaborations have been identified as a critical determinant of a firm’s environmental innovation performance. However, the literature suggests that R&D collaboration is not always beneficial. Therefore, a more elaborated analysis of the effects of R&D collaborations on a firm’s environmental innovation performance is necessary. This paper investigates the impact of R&D col-laborations with different partner types such as customers, competitors, suppliers, uni-versities, governmental research institutes, consultants and other firms within the same firm group on a firm’s environmental innovation performance. In addition, this paper addresses the question of whether the diversity of R&D collaboration partners is im-portant for the environmental innovation performance. Firm-level data from 2,337 Ger-man service and manufacturing firms are used in the regression analysis. The results suggest that R&D collaboration with suppliers, customers, universities, governmental research institutes, consultants and other firms within the same firm group has a signifi-cantly positive impact on a firm’s environmental innovation performance, whereas col-laboration with competitors has no significant impact. The diversity of R&D collaboration partners has a significantly positive impact on a firm’s environmental innovation performance.

22. February 2013

Authors Gunnar Pippel

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