Unravelling supplier-laboratory knowledge spillovers: Evidence from Toyota's central R&D laboratory and subsidiary R&D centers

Antony Potter, Antony Paulraj

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

R&D laboratories have made important contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge and the development of new products in many industries. Studies indicate that the success of a R&D laboratory depends upon its ability to frequently absorb knowledge from organizations within its supply network. Although research has examined knowledge spillovers between inventors, firms, universities, and public research laboratories, they are yet to be studied at the interface between an industrial R&D laboratory and its suppliers. Within this paper, we investigate how different supplier relationships influence the frequency of supplier-laboratory knowledge spillovers at Toyota's central R&D laboratory. Our findings reveal that how the automaker configures its portfolio of supplier relationships has important ramifications for the frequency of supplier-laboratory knowledge spillovers. Specifically, we observe that concurrent sourcing relationships, single sourcing relationships, long-term relationships, alliance partner diversity, and supplier degree centrality have positive effects on the spillover of knowledge between a R&D laboratory and its suppliers. However, we identify that many of these supplier relationships only play an important role at Toyota's central R&D laboratory, and do not influence knowledge spillovers at its subsidiary R&D centers around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104200
JournalResearch Policy
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Automotive industry
  • Knowledge spillovers
  • R&D laboratory
  • Supplier relationships
  • Supply network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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