Research Project

McInereney, Paul-Brian

Collaboration, Innovation, and Valuation in the Craft Brewing Industry

Principal Investigator
McInerney, Paul-Brian
Funding Source
National Science Foundation


Collaboration is an important way for firms to gain access to knowledge and markets while mitigating the risks involved in such activities. At the same time, collaborations allow organizations to learn from one another and experiment. This project seeks to understand the role of valuation in decisions to collaborate in the craft brewing industry. Common in the craft brewing industry, interorganizational collaboration often entails single production runs of co-branded beers. Once these co-branded products sell out, they rarely see another production run. In the aggregate, choices to collaborate structure the industry. According to the strategy literature, firms make choices to collaborate based on relative status. Status in the craft brewing industry is based in part on consumer valuations that take the form of ratings and reviews, which are publicly available on websites and mobile phone apps. This project will construct a dataset from two consumer rating sites to show how firms choose partners with whom to collaborate and how the net result of those decisions over time shapes the craft brewing industry. The project also entails a qualitative component consisting of interviews with craft brewers to identify and describe motivations to collaborate. Because it is often reduced to stock or product price, valuation is undertheorized in the literature on interorganizational collaboration. To remedy this problem, this project employs consumer ratings and reviews as the mode of valuation. As a result, this project will bring together and advance the sociological literatures on valuation and interorganizational networks as well as the management literature on interorganizational collaboration.