Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2008 (Revised November 2008)

Radical Collaboration: IBM Microelectronics Joint Development Alliances

by Willy Shih, Gary Pisano and Andrew A. King


IBM's "Radical Collaboration" model has been an innovative approach to meeting the challenges of the huge R&D and capital investments that are needed to stay competitive in the global semiconductor industry. This model has required a rethinking of what is proprietary, and what is shared, and where do the boundaries of cooperation end and competition begin. IBM and its partners have managed to stay competitive at, for example, the 45 nm node, at a far lower cost than firms that "go it alone," and there is a large benefit from a larger funnel of ideas and diverse points of view. It also reshapes what firms can use to build competitive advantage, or it necessitates a rethinking at least.

Keywords: Cost Management; Investment; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Problems and Challenges; Alliances; Networks; Partners and Partnerships; Research and Development; Competitive Advantage; Semiconductor Industry;


Shih, Willy, Gary Pisano, and Andrew A. King. "Radical Collaboration: IBM Microelectronics Joint Development Alliances." Harvard Business School Case 608-121, February 2008. (Revised November 2008.)