Research Seminar

Does user collaboration boost firms’ exports? — Tamara Lojo & Christina Raasch

01 Sep 2020


Tamara Lojo (Kühne Logistics University(KLU)) & Christina Raasch (Kiel Institute, Kühne Logistics University (KLU))


User collaboration for innovation is a strategy whereby firms draw on users' knowledge and preferences to co-develop new products. This paper examines the effect of user collaboration on exports, distinguishing between domestic and international users. We theorize and empirically investigate two distinct effects, which the extant literature has confounded: a direct, “customer orientation” effect and an indirect effect mediated by innovation. A new instrumental variable approach helps us tackle endogeneity. Overall, we find that the customer orientation effect of user collaboration on exports is larger than the innovation  effect. Despite the geographical specificity of domestic users, we do no find support for a negative effect on exports (domestic lock-in). Both domestic and international user collaboration affect exports positively through the two described channels. However, while domestic users perform better on the innovation effect, the customer orientation effect of international user collaboration is almost twice as big as the one of domestic users. We contribute to the international trade and open innovation literatures by disentangling and measuring the different effects of user collaboration strategies (domestic and international) on exports. 


Tamara Lojo (Kühne Logistics University (KLU)), Christina Raasch (Kiel Institute, Kühne Logistics University (KLU)) und Dirk Dohse (Kiel Institute)


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