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Aug 2012

Managing inter-firm interdependencies in R&D investment

This report illustrates how interdependent R&D investments may be coordinated across the boundaries of competing firms. If managerial accountants are to estimate accurately the value of R&D investments in ecosystems of innovation, an understanding of such information sharing arrangements is crucial.

We set out to understand the information sharing practices that enable firms in the semiconductor and related industries to adjust to unanticipated changes, advances and setbacks affecting their independent programs of R&D. Such information sharing is arguably crucial if investments on the part of individual enterprises are to result in coherent and efficient outcomes at the level of a network of innovating firms. It is a topic that remains largely unexamined in studies of capital budgeting that focus primarily on how to value investments in R&D, rather how to manage them as long-term and highly uncertain processes of interactive decision making by sets of firms.

Our research is motivated by the challenge that firms face in exchanging such data without divulging proprietary knowledge or otherwise harming their individual interests.

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Managing inter-firm interdependencies in R&D investment