This article considers cognitive distance and combined competence as predictors of concrete outcomes in co-operative Research and Development projects. The operationalisation is based upon a dedicated survey, answered by matched pairs of projects managers in partnering organisations, addressing technical and scientific competence, R&D management competence and cultural features. Empirical validation was performed on 92 projects based in France, Germany and the United Kingdom in the industry of electronics and telecommunications equipment. Selected dimensions of the cognitive distance and of combined competence being developed appear to be better predictors of concrete project outcomes than geographic distance, differences in organisation size or in legal status
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