Publication date: Available online 6 December 2017
Author(s): Kaihua Chen, Yi Zhang, Guilong Zhu, Rongping Mu
There is scarce empirical evidence on the impact of inter-organizational collaboration across research institutes, industries or/and universities on the scientific performance of research institutes. This paper fills this gap by examining how the research institutes’ bilateral/trilateral collaborations with industries or/and universities influence their research outputs from a network perspective. We construct a unique dataset based on the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ inter-organizational research collaboration networks with industries or/and universities, which enables us to build three homogeneous, heterogeneous and hybrid inter-organizational research networks as our multi-scenario sample. Our study confirms that the scientific performance of research institutes is significantly affected by their network positions in the research collaboration networks with industries or/and universities. Specifically, in the homogeneous “University-Research Institute” (UR) collaboration network, the degree centrality and the structural holes of the research institutes affect their scientific performance respectively in an inverted U-shaped manner and a positive linear one. By contrast, in both the heterogeneous “Industry-Research Institute” (IR) and the hybrid “Industry-University-Research Institute” (IUR) collaboration networks, the degree centrality and the structural holes of research institutes affect their scientific performance respectively in a positive linear manner and an inverted U-shaped one. Our findings indicate that the impact pattern of the network positions of innovative organizations on their performance likely varies with the network structure and composition in different inter-organizational contexts.