Losing Talent by Partnering Up? The Impact of R&D Collaboration on Employee Mobility

Markus Simeth*, Ali Mohammadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Firms frequently enter collaborations with other organizations for the purpose of innovating. In this paper, we argue that engaging in R&D collaboration can have the unintended consequence of increasing the mobility of highly skilled personnel. We investigate our research question using a representative dataset that combines information from the Swedish Community Innovation Survey (CIS) with employer–employee registry data. Our econometric analysis shows that R&D collaborations by firms are associated with higher levels of outgoing mobility among skilled employees, particularly among those with technical (“STEM”) education and master's or doctoral degrees. We also find support for the interpretation that R&D collaboration augments employees’ general human capital, subsequently increasing their outside employment options. We discuss important implications for firm collaboration strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104551
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number7
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • R&D collaboration
  • Strategic alliances
  • Knowledge workers
  • R&D employees
  • Employee mobility
  • Human capital

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