Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale

Novel insights on alliances and acquisitions for external knowledge sourcing

About the project

Scholars view alliances and acquisitions as key vehicles for absorbing external knowledge. This study advances prior research by exploring this theme in relation to novel contingencies. These include: individual characteristics (e.g., target CEO’s human capital in acquisitions of small high-tech firms), firms’ organizational design (e.g., delegation of authority over innovation decisions in alliances), formal and informal institutions (e.g., cultural distance in cross-border acquisitions).

Principal Investigators:  Massimo G. Colombo, Cristina Rossi-Lamastra

Researcher team:  Keivan Aghasi, Massimo G. Colombo, Nicolai Foss, Jacob Lyngsie, Cristina Rossi-Lamastra, Larissa Rabbiosi

Funder: FARB Project granted by Politecnico di Milano

Duration: 2013 – on going

Partners:  Copenaghen Business School (Larissa Rabbiosi), Cambridge University (Keivan Aghasi)


  • Colombo, M.G., Rabbiosi, L. Technological similarity, post-acquisition R&D reorganization, and innovation performance in horizontal acquisitions. Research Policy, 43(6): 1039-1054, 2014.
  • Bonaccorsi A., Rossi-Lamastra C., Giannangeli S. Entry Strategies Under Competing Standards: Hybrid Business Models in the Open Source Software Industry. Management Science, 52(7): 1085-1098, 2006.
  • Colombo M.G. Alliance form: A test of the contractual and competence perspectives. Strategic Management Journal, 24(12):1209-1229.
  • FARB project (Fund Basic Research) “Micro-foundations for research in cross-border acquisitions: the role of individuals in bridging cultural distance”, assigned by the Milan Polytechnic on the basis of a competitive tender. Amount of the loan: 90,000 euros.
  • PRIN 2010-2011 project, “Market and non-market mechanisms for the exchange and diffusion of innovation: when do they work, when they do not work, and why should we care”. Project B41J12000160008 financial support from the PRIN National Research Program. Coordinator of the research unit: Professor Massimo G. Colombo, Politecnico di Milano; national coordinator: Professor Alfonso Gambardella, Università Bocconi.