Rafael Morais Pereira, Felipe Mendes Borini, Moacir de Miranda Oliveira Jr

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 27 August 2019

In this paper, the authors investigate whether the location of interorganizational partners affects the outcomes of process innovation. Herein, the term partner location refers to multiple degrees of proximity or distance, including in the same national province or state, in other national provinces or states, in the same country and in foreign countries. The purpose of this paper is to show that partner location, whether domestic or foreign, depends on which partner an organization needs in order to advance its process innovation.

To test the hypotheses, the authors employed a panel data regression model to analyze data from 28 Brazilian business sectors from 2003 to 2014, all collected for PINTEC: The Brazilian Survey of Technological Innovation, representing a total of 107,854 companies.

The results show that cooperation is significant with both national and foreign partners, even though they bear different effects on the various degrees of innovativeness related to process innovation.

Practical implications
For managerial practice, the results corroborate that the choice of partners has to be strategic and take their location into account. In particular, practices at the domestic level with suppliers and vocational training centers are relevant to increasing innovation at the micro level. At the same time, for higher levels of innovation, managers should prioritize, within the limitations of existing resources, cooperation with universities, competitors and suppliers from abroad, especially in developed countries.

The main academic contribution of the study is the highlighting partner location (i.e. proximate or distant) as relevant to results of process innovation. Nevertheless, the authors determined that this process is heterogeneous, given the function of each partner and taking the different degrees of innovativeness into account.

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