, Volume 116, Issue 3, pp 1487–1512 | Cite as

How R&D partner diversity influences innovation performance: an empirical study in the nano-biopharmaceutical field

  • Guiyang Zhang
  • Chaoying TangEmail author


R&D partner diversity is generally acknowledged to help organizations to improve innovation performance. This study investigates the influence mechanism in depth by introducing technological diversification as mediator and the structural holes of new knowledge elements from R&D partners and the degree centrality of the focal organization’s knowledge elements as two moderators. The empirical analysis is based on patent data in the emerging nano-biopharmaceutical field and includes 554 innovative organizations. Results show that partners’ organizational diversity and geographical diversity have positive effects on focal organizations’ innovation performance through improving technological diversification. The structural holes of new knowledge elements from R&D partners and the degree centrality of the focal organization’s knowledge elements moderate the process in the way that when they are at high levels, the indirect positive effects of partner diversity on innovation performance through technological diversification are strengthened.


Innovation performance Organizational diversity Geographical diversity Structural holes Degree centrality 


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics & Management, University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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