Vertical relationships, complementarity and product innovation: an intellectual capital-based view

Research paper by Miriam Delgado-Verde, Gregorio Martín de Castro, José Emilio Navas-López, Javier Amores-Salvadó

Indexed on: 14 Jan '13Published on: 14 Jan '13Published in: Knowledge Management Research & Practice


In recent years, the role of a firm’s external relationships in technological innovations is becoming increasingly important among innovation scholars. Following this trend, our paper proposes a new model as a way of analysing vertical collaboration supplier and customer relationship (SUCU) effects on product innovation outputs. Taking complementarity among business actors as the main thesis of this article, we identify four distinctive vertical collaboration profiles with different impacts on the level of product innovation. Results indicated that manufacturers that maintain those supplier and customer relationships simultaneously have a higher level of product innovation. Moreover, customer relationships have a more important role than supplier ones within the development of product innovation.