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The Location of Multinationals in Industrial Districts: Knowledge Transfer in Biomedicals

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  • Biggiero, Lucio

Abstract

In order to access and exploit knowledge, MNCs are induced to make FDI in technological districts. It occurs in a two-step process: first joint venture and then acquisition. This perspective is consistent with the evolutionary theory of multinational corporations, which looks at technology transfer as a sound rationale for FDI. The location strategy of multinationals produces a reorganization of district structure and a change in its evolutionary pattern: MNCs become catalysts, bring in new finance, ideas and managerial practices, open the district to external markets and international flows of technology. Biomedical Valley in Italy is a recent high-tech district that fits this picture well. It demonstrates that the rationale for FDI was not wage differentials with parent countries, but rather local knowledge and innovation. Knowledge transfer through subcontractors diffuses and recombines inside the district in two ways: becoming the medium for the dissemination of new codes, procedures and knowledge within the district, and evolving from the role of subcontractors to that of independent producers of final products. The case of biomedical district also induces changes of a number of stereotypes and common beliefs about industrial districts and MNCs. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Technology Transfer.

Volume (Year): 27 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 111-22

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:27:y:2002:i:1:p:111-22

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=104998

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Cited by:
  1. Sandrine Labory, . "Role of external knowledge flows in cluster upgrading: an empirical analysis of the Mirandola biomedical district in Italy," Working Papers 2011R05, Basque Institute of Competitiveness.
  2. Enrico Santarelli, 2004. "Patents and the Technological Performance of District Firms Evidence for the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  3. Fiorenza Belussi & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2011. "Industrial districts as open learning systems: combining emergent and deliberate knowledge structures," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0141, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  4. Fiorenza BELUSSI & Luciano PILOTTI & Silvia Rita SEDITA, 2006. "Learning at the boundaries for industrial districts between exploitation of local resources and the exploration of global knowledge flows," Departmental Working Papers 2006-40, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  5. Fiorenza Belussi & Alessia Sammarra, 2006. "Evolution and Relocation in Fashion-led Italian Districts: Evidence from two Case-Studies," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0023, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  6. Fiorenza Belussi & Luciano Pilotti & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2006. "Learning at the boundaries for industrial districts between exploitation of local resources and exploration of global knowledge flows," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0033, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  7. Stefano Elia & Lucia Piscitello & Sergio Mariotti, 2013. "Industrial Districts, Core Cities And Ownership Strategy Of Multinational Firms Investing In Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa13p27, European Regional Science Association.

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