The social and economic outputs of SME-GSI research collaboration in an emerging economy: An ecosystem perspective

Mariana Giovanna Andrade-Rojas, Stella Yiyan Li, John Jian Jun Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Extant literature on research collaboration between firms and government-sponsored institutions (GSIs) focuses predominantly on the formation of strategic alliances and its resulting economic performance. We take a new perspective and conceptualize the collaboration between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and GSIs as social and economic pillars in emerging economies. We theorize how the collaborations with GSIs help SMEs increase their social and economic outputs and develop a sustainable ecosystem for business development through ongoing outward knowledge sharing. Our tests with data on Mexico’s industrial sectors evidence a greater positive effect of SME-GSI collaboration on social than economic output. R&D intensity mitigates more on SME-GSI collaboration’s impact on economic than that on social output. A decentralized management structure strengthens the effect of SME-GSI collaboration on only social output. Finally, a sustainable ecosystem is formed when SMEs engage in outward knowledge sharing as retribution to society. Social output exerts a stronger mediation for SME-GSI collaboration’s influence on outward knowledge sharing than economic output. Overall, our findings offer important insights into the theoretical, managerial, and policy implications of SME-GSI collaboration and business development ecosystems in emerging economies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-699
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Small Business Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Social output
  • ecosystem
  • government-sponsored institutions (GSIs)
  • inclusive business
  • small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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