Alliance portfolio and innovative performance of Brazilian industry

Main Article Content

Frederico G. P. Moreira
Ana L. V. Torkomian
Herick Moralles


The main objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between Alliance Portfolio Diversity (APD) and the firm's innovative performance, especially when R&D capacity (RDCAP) and Specialized Complementary Assets (SCA) moderate this relationship at different points in the firm’s value chain; the study also identifies the nature of the relationship between such moderators. It applies econometric methods to a database comprised of 13,020 companies from Brazilian industry. The results reveal an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relationship between APD and innovative performance, as well as the effective positive moderation of this relationship by the RDCAP and the SCA. This research contributes to the literature on firm knowledge, especially theories of open innovation and absorptive capacity (AC). The former is progressing to emerging economic contexts and the second, contributing a new way of understanding AC by investigating its spatial dimensions, in addition to the skills and competencies dimensions.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
MOREIRA, F. G. P.; TORKOMIAN, A. L. V.; MORALLES, H. Alliance portfolio and innovative performance of Brazilian industry. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 60, n. 5, p. 336–351, 2020. DOI: 10.1590/S0034-759020200504. Disponível em: Acesso em: 29 may. 2024.


Andrevsky, G., Brass, D. J., & Ferrier, W. J. (2016) Alliance portfolio configurations and competitive action frequency. Journal of Management, 42(4), 811-837. doi: 10.1177/0149206313498901

Asgari, N., Singh, K., & Mitchell, W. (2017). Alliance portfolio reconfiguration following a technological discontinuity. Strategic Management Journal, 38, 1062-1081. doi: 10.1002/smj.2554

Baum, J. A. C.; Calabrese,T.; Silverman, B. S. (2000). Don’t go it alone: alliance network composition and startups’ performance in canadian biotechnology. Strategic Management Journal 21, 267–294. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(200003)21:33.0.CO;2-8

Benner, M. J., & Tushman, M. L. (2003). Exploitation, exploration, and process management: The productivity dilemma revisited. Academy of Management Review, 28(2), 238-256. doi: 10.2307/30040711

Berchicci, L. (2013). Towards an open R&D system: Internal R&D investment, external knowledge acquisition and innovative performance. Research Policy, 42(1), 117-127. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.04.017

Bogers, M., Burcharth, A., & Chesbrough, H. (2019). Open innovation in Brazil: Exploring opportunities and challenges. International Journal of Innovation, 7(2), 178-191. doi: 10.5585/iji.v7i2.417.2318-9975

Bruyaka, O., & Durand, R. (2012). Sell-off or shut-down? Alliance portfolio diversity and two types of high tech firms’ exit. Strategic Organization, 10(1), 7-30. doi: 10.1177/1476127011432366

Caloghirou, Y., Kastelli, I., & Tsakanikas, A. (2004). Internal capabilities and external knowledge sources: Complements or substitutes for innovative performance? Technovation, 24(1), 29-39. doi: 10.1016/S0166-4972(02)00051-2

Carvalho, L., & Avellar, A. P. M. (2015). Comportamento inovativo da indústria brasileira: Uma análise do perfil das empresas com base na Pintec. VIII Congresso do Instituto Franco-Brasileiro de Administração de Empresas (IFBAE), Gramado, RS.

Cassiman, B., & Veugelers, R. (2002). R&D cooperation and spillovers: Some empirical evidence from Belgium. American Economic Review, 92(4), 1169-1184. doi: 10.1257/00028280260344704

Cassiman, B., & Veugelers, R. (2006). In search of complementarity in innovation strategy: Internal R&D and external knowledge acquisition. Management Science, 52(1), 68-82. doi:10.1287/mnsc.1050.0470

Cavalcante, L. R., & Negri, F. De. (2011). Trajetória recente dos indicadores de inovação no Brasil (Texto para Discussão, n. 1.659). Brasília, DF: IPEA.

Ceccagnoli, M., Higgins, M. J., & Palermo, V. (2014). Behind the scenes: Sources of complementarity in R&D. Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 23(1), 125-148. doi:10.1111/jems.12048

Chesbrough, H. W. (2003). Open innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology (Vol. 2.006). Boston, USA: Harvard Business School Press. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8691.2008.00502.x

Chesbrough, H. W. (2006). Open business models: How to thrive in the new innovation landscape. Boston, USA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Chiu, Y. C., Lai, H. C., Lee, T. Y., & Liaw, Y. C. (2008). Technological diversification, complementary assets, and performance. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 75(6), 875-892. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2007.07.003

Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(3), 128-152. doi:10.1177/0149206310369939

Dibiaggio, L., Nasiriyar, M., & Nesta, L. (2014). Substitutability and complementarity of technological knowledge and the inventive performance of semiconductor companies. Research Policy, 43(9), 1582-1593. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2014.04.001

Duysters, G., & Lokshin, B. (2011). Determinants of alliance portfolio complexity and its effect on innovative performance of companies. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28(4), 570-585. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2011.00824.x

Escribano, A., Fosfuri, A., & Tribó, J. A. (2009). Managing external knowledge flows: The moderating role of absorptive capacity. Research Policy, 38(1), 96-105. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2008.10.022

Faems, D., Visser, M. De, Andries, P., & Looy, B. Van. (2010). Technology alliance portfolios and financial performance: Value-enhancing and cost-increasing effects of open innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 27(6), 785-796. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2010.00752.x

Greene, W. H. (2003). Econometric analysis. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 97. doi:10.1198/jasa.2002.s458

Gujarati, D. N., & Porter, D. C. (2011). Econometria básica. Porto Alegre, Brasil: Amgh Editora. doi:10.1126/science.1186874

Hagedoorn, J., & Wang, N. (2012). Is there complementarity or substitutability between internal and external R&D strategies? Research Policy, 41(6), 1072-1083. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2012.02.012

Hashai, N., Kafouros, M., & Buckley, P. J. (2018) The performance implications of speed, regularity, and duration in alliance portfolio expansion. Journal of Management, 44(2), 707-731.

Hess, A. M., & Rothaermel, F. T. (2011). When are assets complementary? Star scientists, strategic alliances, and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. Strategic Management Journal, 32(8), 895-909. doi:10.1002/smj.916

Huizingh, E. K. R. E. (2011). Open innovation: State of the art and future perspectives. Technovation, 31(1), 2-9. doi:10.1016/j.technovation.2010.10.002

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. (2011). Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: IBGE-PINTEC – Pesquisa de Inovação – triênios 2006-2008 e 2009-2011.

Jiang, R. J., Tao, Q. T., & Santoro, M. D. (2010). Research notes and commentaries alliance portfolio diversity and firm performance. Strategic Management Journal., 31, 1136–1144. doi:10.1002/smj.869

Jong, J. P. J. De, & Freel, M. (2010). Absorptive capacity and the reach of collaboration in high technology small firms. Research Policy, 39(1), 47-54. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2009.10.003

Kale, P., & Singh, H. (2009). Managing strategic alliances: What do we know now, and where do we go from here? Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(3), 45-62. doi:10.5465/AMP.2009.43479263

Kannebley, S., Júnior, Porto, G. S., & Pazello, E. T. (2004). Inovação na indústria brasileira : Uma análise exploratória a partir da Pintec. Revista Brasileira de Inovação, 3(1), 87-128. doi: 10.20396/rbi.v3i1.8648893

Kapoor, R., & Klueter, T. (2015). Decoding the adaptability-rigidity puzzle: Evidence from pharmaceutical incumbents’ pursuit of gene therapy and monoclonal antibodies. Academy of Management Journal, 58(4), 1180-1207. doi:10.5465/amj.2013.0430

Katila, R. (2002). New product search over time: Past ideas in their prime? Academy of Management Journal, 45(5), 995-1010. doi: 10.2307/3069326

Kim, J. W., & Higgins, M. C. (2007). Where do alliances come from?. The effects of upper echelons on alliance formation. Research Policy, 36(4), 499-514. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2007.02.017

Lane, P. J., & Lubatkin, M. (1998). Relative absorptive capacity and interorganizational learning. Strategic Management Journal, 19(5), 461-477. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(199805)19:5<461::AID-SMJ953>3.3.CO;2-C

Laursen, K., & Salter, A. (2004). Searching high and low: What types of firms use universities as a source of innovation? Research Policy, 33(8), 1201-1215. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2004.07.004

Laursen, K., & Salter, A. (2006). Open for innovation: The role of openness in explaining innovation performance among U.K. manufacturing firms. Strategic Management Journal, 27(2), 131-150. doi:10.1002/smj.507

Laursen, K., & Salter, A. J. (2014). The paradox of openness: Appropriability, external search and collaboration. Research Policy, 43(5), 867-878. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2013.10.004

Lavie, D., & Miller, S. R. (2008). Alliance portfolio internationalization and firm performance. Organization Science, 19(4), 623-646. doi:10.1287/orsc.1070.0341

Lee, G. K. (2007). The significance of network resources in the race to enter emerging product markets: The convergence of telephony communications and computer networking, 1989-2001. Strategic Management Journal, 28, 17-37. doi:10.1002/smj.566

Leeuw, T. De, Lokshin, B., & Duysters, G. (2014). Returns to alliance portfolio diversity: The relative effects of partner diversity on firm’s innovative performance and productivity. Journal of Business Research, 67(9), 1839-1849. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.12.005

March, J. G. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 71. doi:10.1287/orsc.2.1.71

Mendes, C. S., Lopes, L. S., & Gomes, A. P. (2012). Eficiência dos dispêndios em inovação nas indústrias de transformação do Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Inovação, 11(1), 193-218. doi: 10.20396/rbi.v11i1.8649031

Milagres, R., Rezende, O., & Silva, S. A. G. (2017). Papel e posição do departamento de alianças: Caso Embrapa. Revista de Administração Pública, 51(3), 431-450 doi:10.1590/0034-7612160046

Nelson, R., & Winter, S. (1982). An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge, USA: The Belknapp Press of Harvard University Press.

Oerlemans, L. A. G., Knoben, J., & Pretorius, M. W. (2013). Alliance portfolio diversity, radical and incremental innovation: The moderating role of technology management. Technovation, 33(6-7), 234-246. doi: 10.1016/j.technovation.2013.02.004

Oxley, J. (1997). Appropriability hazards and governance in strategic alliances: A transaction-cost approach. The Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, 13(2), 387-409. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.jleo.a023389

Rothaermel, F. T. (2001). Incumbent’s advantage through exploiting complementary assets via interfirm cooperation. Strategic Management Journal, 22(6-7), 687-699. doi:10.1002/smj.180

Rothaermel, F. T., & Deeds, D. L. (2004). Exploration and exploitation alliances in biotechnology: A system of new product development. Strategic Management Journal, 25(3), 201-221. doi:10.1002/smj.376

Rothaermel, F. T., & Hill, C. W. L. (2005). Technological discontinuities and complementary assets: A longitudinal study of industry and firm performance. Organization Science, 16(1), 52-70. doi: 10.1287/orsc.1040.0100

Sobrero, M., & Roberts, E. B. (2002). Strategic management of supplier-manufacturer relations in new product development. Research Policy, 31(1), 159-182. doi:10.1016/S0048-7333(00)00157-8

Spithoven, A., & Teirlinck, P. (2015). Internal capabilities, network resources and appropriation mechanisms as determinants of R&D outsourcing. Research Policy, 44(3), 711-725. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2014.10.013

Srivastava, M. K., & Gnyawali, D. R. (2011). When do relational resources matter? Leveraging technological resources for breakthrough innovation. Academy of Management Journal, 54(4), 797-810. doi: 10.5465/AMJ.2011.64870140

Taylor, A., & Helfat, C. E. (2009). Organizational linkages for surviving technological change: Complementary assets, middle management, and ambidexterity. Organization Science, 20(4), 718-739. doi:10.1287/orsc.1090.0429

Teece, D. J. (1986). Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy. Research Policy, 15(6), 285-305. doi: 10.1016/0048-7333(86)90027-2

Tether, B. S. (2002). Who co-operates for innovation, and why: An empirical analysis. Research Policy, 31(6), 947-967. doi:10.1016/S0048-7333(01)00172-X

Trajtenberg, M., Henderson, R., & Jaffe, A. (1997). University versus corporate patents: A window on the basicness of invention. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 5(1), 19-50. doi: 10.1080/10438599700000006

Tsai, K. H., & Wang, J. C. (2008). External technology acquisition and firm performance: A longitudinal study. Journal of Business Venturing, 23(1), 91-112. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2005.07.002

Vasudeva, G., & Anand, J. (2011). Unpacking absorptive capacity: A study of knowledge utilization from alliance portfolios. Academy of Management Journal, 54(3), 611-623. doi: 10.5465/amj.2011.61968108

Wooldridge, J. M. (2011). Introdução à econometria: Uma abordagem moderna. São Paulo: Cengage Learning.

Wu, B., Wan, Z., & Levinthal, D. A. (2014). Complementary assets as pipes and prisms: Innovation incentives and trajectory choices. Strategic Management Journal, 35(9), 1257-1278. doi:10.1002/smj.2159

Zahra, S. A., & George, G. (2002). Absorptive capacity: A review, reconceptualization, and extension. Academy of Management Review. 17(2), 185-203. doi:10.5465/AMR.2002.6587995

Ziedonis, A. A. (2007). Real options in technology licensing real options in technology licensing. Management Science, 53(10), 1618-1633.