In recent years management scholars and practitioners have been interesting in Research and Development (R&D) partnering, especially in high-tech industries such as biotechnology and ICT. While the motivations of research partnership formation have been widely explored in the literature, little attempt has been undertaken to examine the relationship between the characteristics of research partnerships and R&D efficiency at the firm level. In this paper we try to shed some lights on the effect of research partnerships on the R&D efficiency in the biotechnology industry. We hypothesize that experience in previous alliances, use of repeated partnerships and establishment of tight relationships have a positive effect on R&D efficiency while rigid governance structures and public R&D subsidies have a negative effect. We test our hypotheses on a sample of 55 Italian DBFs (Dedicated Biotech Firms). OLS regression models are deployed. Results indicate support for our hypotheses. Managerial implications and opportunities for future research are also discussed.
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