Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Thomas H. Brush

Second Advisor

Jeffrey J. Reuer

Committee Chair

Thomas H. Brush

Committee Co-Chair

Jeffrey J. Reuer

Committee Member 1

Javier Gimeno

Committee Member 2

Fabrice Lumineau


In this dissertation, I investigate the interplay between competition and cooperation in R&D alliances. The alliance literature on this issue has emphasized that product market rivalry (i.e., market overlap) between partnering firms aggravates cooperation hazards by increasing the private benefits from opportunism. However, drawing on the multimarket competition literature, I maintain that market overlap between alliance partners can rather curb opportunism by partners because the multimarket contact between them might increase the expected costs of opportunistic behaviors by enabling broad retaliation against such behaviors across the shared markets. Based on this argument, I theorize and corroborate that the mutual forbearance from opportunism that multimarket contact generates not only promotes the formation of R&D collaborations in Essay 1, but also substitutes for hierarchical governance structures in R&D alliances in Essay 2. In Essay 3, I also extend the prior literature on competitive aspects of R&D collaborations that has been mainly interested in knowledge protection concerns in alliances between direct rivals. I join the alliance literature with the agglomeration literature to argue and show that geographic co-location between an allying firm’s partner and the major rivals of the allying firm introduces potential indirect paths of knowledge leakage to rivals, making the allying firm more likely to employ defense mechanisms such as using equity structures and reducing task interdependence.