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Organisation Design and Information-Sharing in a Research Joint Venture with Spillovers
Bulletin of Economic Research (1998)
  • John Beath, University of St Andrews
  • Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, Loughborough University
  • David Ulph, University of St Andrews

The paper presents a non-tournament model of process innovation with spillovers in the R&D process when firms engage in Cournot competition in the product market. It is shown that careful modelling of information-sharing and coordination of research activities leads to the conclusion that a Research Joint Venture (RJV) will economize on scarce R&D resources. There is an analysis of the effects of R&D cooperation, in the form of an RJV, on the organization of R&D, i.e. the efficient number of research labs. R&D expenditure, which precedes production, results in lower unit costs. R&D is modelled as a two-stage process: in the first stage, firms incur expenditure that will generate new knowledge, while in the second stage this knowledge is employed to reduce unit costs. A distinction is made between single and complementary research paths. It is shown that the RJV will operate one lab in the case of a single research path exploiting its coordination advantage. In the case of complementary research paths the number of labs the RJV will operate crucially depends on the stage of the R&D process at which diminishing returns occur: it will operate both labs when diminishing returns occur at the first stage (creation of knowledge), while it will be indifferent as to the number of labs, one or two, when diminishing returns occur in the second stage (cost reduction).

Publication Date
Citation Information
John Beath, Joanna Poyago-Theotoky and David Ulph. "Organisation Design and Information-Sharing in a Research Joint Venture with Spillovers" Bulletin of Economic Research Vol. 50 Iss. 1 (1998)
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