Microfoundations of Firm R&D Capabilities: A Study of Inventor Networks in a Merger

Srikanth Paruchuri*, Micki Eisenman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Taking a cue from a recently evolving stream that calls for exploring the microfoundations of capabilities, we focus on inventor networks to examine how the activities underlying firms' R&D change in the aftermath of a merger. We view mergers as events that cause anxiety and impede inventors' abilities to process research knowledge. Employing the notion of an intra-firm inventor collaboration network, we hypothesize that in the aftermath of a merger, the impact of knowledge that is prominent and widely available in the intra-firm network will increase but that the impact of knowledge that, albeit richer, is less easily accessible, will decrease. Our empirical study of the merger of Bristol-Myers and Squibb supports our hypotheses. The findings enhance our understanding not only of mergers and acquisitions, but also of the microfoundations of a firm's R&D activities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1509-1535
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Intra-firm networks
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • New knowledge generation
  • Path-altering
  • R&D capabilities


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