Knowledge creation and exploitation in collaborative R&D projects: lessons learned on success factors.

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This paper examines the management of collaborative R&D projects with customers. Prior research on social network theory and the knowledge-based view has identified some of the key conditions of successful collaboration. However, the actual management of project dynamics has received less attention. This paper addresses this gap in existing research through a case study on the management of inter-firm R&D projects in a large European telecommunications operator. It provides a cross-project comparison on the process of knowledge creation and exploitation in five collaborative R&D projects with customers. The objective of this research is to increase current understanding on the success factors of collaborative R&D projects. As a result of this paper, the creation of a genuine ‘win-win’ situation, clear roles and responsibilities, the customer-oriented approach and the exchange of complementary specialist knowledge are found to be key critical success factors in the process of inter-firm knowledge creation. Moreover, this paper indicates that the viability of the business opportunity is the primary success factor in knowledge exploitation. In addition to identifying these success factors, the paper provides a more complete list of lessons learned from collaborative R&D projects with customers. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-263
Number of pages12
JournalKnowledge and Process Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • RESEARCH & development contracts
  • PROJECT management
  • CUSTOMER relations
  • CRITICAL success factor
  • SOCIAL network theory (Communication)
  • SOCIAL capital (Sociology)


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