Collaborating for Quality – The (in)direct impact of informal institutional distance on the quality of co–patents

Authors: Cathrin Söllner*, University of Bremen
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: collaboration, regional informal institutions, patent quality, Hofstede, EU–regions
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Literature nowadays claims that innovation is no longer an ‘one-organization-show’ but that more and more organizations innovate in collaboration. When collaborating, cognitive, geographic, social and institutional distances need to be bridged. In all cases, both a too large and a too small distance can be detrimental for the generation of innovations as well as their quality. Additionally, interactions between the distances have to be considered. Former studies focused on values and norms on macro-level as proxies for institutional distance and on trust of individuals for social distance. Though informal institutions have the greatest impact on the regional level, regional informal institutional distance has not been explored yet. The present paper makes a first attempt to explore the direct impact of regional informal institutional distance (operated through the six Hofstede dimensions) on the quality of collaborative innovations and of its moderating influence on the impact of other distances. Patent data for the years 2007–2009 is used to identify collaborations with at least one partner in Europe. To calculate cognitive distances between organizations, organizational technological profiles are compiled, based on patent data from the years 2006–2010. Based on the locations of the organizations, the geographic distances will be measured. Data from the European Values Study is applied to determine regional profiles (Nuts 2) of informal institutions with which informal institutional distances are calculated. For patent quality, an indicator is developed, using the numbers of forward and backward citations, the size of the patent family and the centrality of the collaboration partners.

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