This paper investigates the effect of companies' innovation collaboration with different partner types on the emergence of different typologies of ecological innovation (EI), specifically process- and product-EI. Econometric analyses, based on a sample of 546 German manufacturing companies collected as part of the Community Innovation Survey, indicate a differential effect of collaboration with individual partner types. Specifically, we find that collaboration with consumers is associated positively with both process- and product-EI, whereas collaboration with universities and suppliers is associated positively only with process-EI. Collaboration with enterprise customers and competitors is neither associated with process-EI nor product-EI. Our results shed light on the mechanisms within the recently established open eco-innovation mode and emphasise the importance for theory and practice of distinguishing among collaboration partners, contingent on the underlying typology of EI. We discuss important implications for theory and practice.
- ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION
- DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION
- INTERORGANIZATIONAL COLLABORATION
- SECTORAL PATTERNS