Vertical innovation partnerships and relational performance: The mediating role of trust, interdependence, and familiarity
Which relational atmosphere would allow clients and suppliers to fully benefit from their innovation partnerships? Adopting an interactionist approach, we hypothesized that elements of a partnership atmosphere mediate the relationship between partnership type and relational performance. Based on taxonomic analysis of 160 cross-industry vertical innovation partnerships (VIPs) with differing contractual, relational, and organizational arrangements, we identified four VIP types: free, project-based, elaborated, and exclusive. Our results did not support a direct effect from VIP types on performance. However, we found that a trustful atmosphere enables achieving and exceeding expected benefits in both project-based and exclusive VIPs, whereas a familiar atmosphere enables achieving and exceeding expected benefits only for exclusive VIPs, and interdependence allows exceeding benefits only for project-based VIPs.