The Costs and Benefits of Collaborating across Geographic Distance and Organizational Boundaries

Louise Mors, David Waguespack

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Collaborating across formal organization boundaries is beneficial for performance outcomes like creativity and innovation. Yet crossing boundaries is also costly, as it requires actors to overcome spatial distance and enter new
    knowledge domains. In this paper we build on extant work in this area to shed further light on the costs of cross-boundary collaborations. In particular, we examine how such collaborations evolve and whether the costs persist over time. We study collaborations in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). In this open innovation community participants collaborate in work groups to develop and maintain Internet standards. We look at the collaborations of 7397 unique individuals that participated in the IETF from 1994 to 2005. Our findings suggest that crossing both organizational boundaries and geographic distance is positively related to the persistence of collaborations. In fact, the further away authors are from each other the more likely they are to continue collaborating. Yet we find that crossing geographic distance does become more costly over time - perhaps suggesting that low quality projects get sorted from the process. However, crossing organizational boundaries becomes less costly through repeat interaction
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages32
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventThe DRUID Society Conference 2015: The Relevance of Innovation - LUISS Business School, Rome, Italy
    Duration: 15 Jun 201517 Jun 2015
    Conference number: 37


    ConferenceThe DRUID Society Conference 2015
    LocationLUISS Business School
    SponsorLUISS Guido Carli - Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli
    Internet address

    Cite this