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Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology INDEK Working Paper Series, Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology

No 2013/3:
A Psychological Contract Perspective on R&D Alliance Projects: Learning from a Close-to-Failing Case

Matti Kaulio ()

Abstract: Abstract: The aim of this article is to illustrate how the process model for collaborative ventures (Ariņo and de la Torre, 1998) and psychological contract theory could function as analytical frameworks for investigations of R&D alliance projects. To empirically illustrate this, we have used as example an analysis of a dyadic R&D alliance, which was close to failure. Findings reveal the following results: (i) that the process model for collaborative ventures is also valid for dyadic R&D alliance projects; (ii) that the concept of psychological contracts presents an alternative perspective when describing collaboration in R&D alliance projects; (iii) that critical incidents is a common denominator in both theoretical approaches; and (iv) that, in contrast to transactional contracts, relational psychological contracts relate to a successful outcome. The managerial implication of the study is that, either manifested as points for contract re-negotiation (process-oriented alliance theory) or as violations (psychological contract theory), critical incidents are vital to manage in order to secure a successful outcome of the alliance.

Keywords: Strategic Alliance; Outsourced R&D; Project Leadership; Qualitative Research; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: L24; O15; O32; (follow links to similar papers)

23 pages, December 16, 2013

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