von der Heidt, T & Scott, D 2007, 'Associations between interorganisational relationship (IOR) constructs common to multiple stakeholders in cooperative product innovation: presented to the 21st ANZAM 2007 Conference, Sydney, 4-7 December.
Academic interest in analysing the relationship between innovative performance of small firms and their recourse to external resources, especially through interorganisational relationships (IORs) has been growing over the last ten to fifteen years. However, to date the emerging literature has given limited attention to the systematic empirical assessment of the relationship and innovation inputs and outputs of cooperative product innovation. Furthermore, most of the literature focuses on cooperative innovation IORs with customer stakeholders, ignoring the potential role played by other external stakeholder groups, such as suppliers, industry partners and research/advisory organisations. This paper presents selected results from an empirical examination into the similarities and differences in the involvement of four external stakeholder groups in Australian manufacturing firms’ product innovation. A six-factor model of cooperative IORs in product innovation with customer, suppliers, industry partners and research/advisory organisations was developed from a strategy-structureperformance- based model of marketing channel relationship structure. Four of the 15 hypothesised associations were significant for all or most of the stakeholder groups, and these are of central interest in the paper. Five hypothesised associations were not significant for any of the stakeholders, and the remaining hypotheses were significant for selected stakeholder groups only. Hence, the way in which multiple stakeholder groups are involved in manufacturing firms’ product innovation is more similar than different.