Co-operative ties and innovation: some new evidence for UK manufacturing

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Drawing upon survey data from 436 firms, this paper explores the impact of co-operative ties upon levels of innovation (both product and process) in five UK manufacturing industries. Unlike a number of previous studies in this area, the data itself captures both the scale and multi-dimensional nature of both co-operation and innovation. The paper finds evidence to support the hypothesis that vertical cooperative ties are a significant factor in explaining firms' levels of innovative performance. However, the empirical analysis suggests that it is the strength of such ties - and not just their existence - which are important with stronger dyadic relations between firms having a positive and significant impact upon levels of innovation. The analysis also finds that in some sectors, horizontal co-operative ties are (albeit to a lesser extent) also important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-775
Number of pages14
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number6
Early online date16 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • networks
  • manufacturing
  • dyadic relations
  • vertical and horizontal ties
  • innovation
  • co-operation


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