Trust, coordination and knowledge flows in R&D projects: the case of fuel cell technologies

Business Ethics: A European Review 17 (1):23-34 (2007)
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This paper explores influential factors for research and development project success as a result of knowledge flows rising from a trust‐based mechanism within and outside the project. Project success is herein defined in terms of results obtained and partner commitment. A sample of 85 organizations involved in 17 European research and development projects under the fifth Framework Programme focused on fuel cell technology projects is used to test the hypotheses. Results provide several insights. First, organizations should take care of trust as the mechanism supporting internal knowledge flows arising from projects in which they are directly involved; second, external R&D ties arise from a kind of interlocking partner mechanism, but the latter does not contribute to the focal project success.



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