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Partner Selection versus Partner Attraction in R&D Strategic Alliances: The Case of the Norwegian Shipping Industry

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: In this paper we explore how partnership context influences the process of R&D consortia formation in a mature industry like the shipping industry. We elaborate on the partner selection criteria and how they change over time when goals move from wide and intangible to very specific R&D tasks. We present two cases related to R&D joint projects in the high-tech Norwegian offshore service vessel industry. We find that in the case where the aim of collaborative R&D work is narrow-defined and concentrated on creation of clear-cut tangible products partner selection may be easy with a broad range of potential partners. When the R&D aims are wider-defined and less tangible, prospective participants are more careful and the number of partners to select from is more limited. We discuss how different aims lead to different partner choice criteria. Implications for the strategies of developing R&D alliances are discussed.

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