Project Management Institute

Collaborative Research Project Networks

Knowledge Transfer at the Fuzzy Front End of Innovation

Many businesses seeking enhanced innovation have corporate research teams that engage in collaborative research projects (CRPs), with external entities such as universities, public organizations, or customers. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests mixed outcomes of CRPs in terms of corporate research impact, which implies successful transfer of novel knowledge generated within CRPs to company-internal business networks to develop radically innovative products. We use the multiple regression quadratic assignment procedure (MRQAP) and meta-analysis to analyze six CRP networks. Our findings indicate that the network's relational characteristics (tie strength) and structural characteristics (network range) are important determinants of knowledge transfer at the fuzzy front end of innovation.
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