This study predicts the conditions under which firms that engage in an innovation project
choose for one of three knowledge acquisition strategies (KASs): internal R&D, buy and
collaborate. This is done by linking the KASs to a series of attributes using a discrete
choice experiment that is conducted on 427 SMEs. We find that risk and finance models
have a large influence on the choice for a KAS. Moreover, we identify four latent classes
of firms that have distinctive choice patterns. We demonstrate that the choices for a KAS
are related to the past behavior of the firm and that a limited number of firms are likely
to change their KAS.