Geographic distance between co-inventors and firm performance: The moderating roles of interfirm and cross-country collaborations

Igam M. Moaniba, Hsin Ning Su*, Pei Chun Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Firms use strategic collaborations to reduce costs and increase productivity through shared technological capabilities, knowledge and resources. However, technological collaboration over geographic distance involves the risks of facing communication problems including vulnerability to the language difference, cultural issues, and political barriers. Consequently, firms engaging in technical collaborations across different locations often face higher communication (and other distance-related) costs, which in turn could affect their financial performance. This paper investigates the relationship between inventor distance and firm performance by employing panel fixed effect quantile regression techniques with interaction variables on a sample of 556 firms. The study finds empirical evidence that the geographic distance between collaborating inventors has a positive effect on firm performance. This effect is stronger in companies that engage in inventor collaborations across international borders and weaker in multi-national corporations that rely only on intra-firm inventor collaborations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120070
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume157
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Firm performance
  • Geographic distance
  • Innovation
  • Inventor collaboration

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