Moving Beyond Local Search: Innovative Performance and the Role of Alliance Networks

V.A. Gilsing and C.E.A.V. Lemmens (The Netherlands)


Local search, exploration, exploitation, evolution of alliance networks, technological learning strategies, innovative performance


The focus of this paper is on how a firm's alliance network affects its possibilities to move beyond local search. Recent literature focuses on the importance of creating access to distant and heterogeneous sources of knowledge as a motivation to move beyond local search. In doing so, they abstract from how such access can be created and more specifically they ignore the role of a firm's alliance network in this process. This paper addresses these issues by studying the role of a firm's alliance network when moving beyond local search. We unravel this process by analysing how network positions and possibilities to create non-redundant ties enable firms to accomplish this move. We empirically test our hypotheses with longitudinal data on strategic alliance networks in the global semiconductor industry.

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