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Multinational knowledge spillovers with decentralised R&D: a game-theoretic approach

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Author Info

  • Francesca Sanna-Randaccio

    (University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Rome, Italy)

  • Reinhilde Veugelers

    (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical model of the trade-offs that an MNE faces when organising its R&D as decentralised or centralised. R&D decentralisation avoids having to adapt centrally developed innovations to local markets, being able to use the specific know-how of the subsidiary. In addition R&D subsidiaries can be used to source locally available external know-how. At the same time, however, R&D internationalisation intensifies the spillover of valuable know-how to competitors located in the foreign markets. The analysis demonstrates the importance of the intensity of competition in the local market in determining the size of both the benefits and costs of R&D decentralisation. It shows that when R&D is undertaken abroad in association with production, the local knowledge base is not unequivocally a pulling factor attracting R&D investments by foreign MNEs, depending on the level of local competition. The paper also shows that efficiency in reverse intra-company technology transfers is a critical factor in benefiting from technology sourcing. The results thus illustrate the complementarity of efficient internal and external knowledge management systems. In addition the model suggests that, with a fall in the cost of intra-company technology transfers, relative market size loses importance as a locational factor for R&D decentralisation. Journal of International Business Studies (2007) 38, 47–63. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400249

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 47-63

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Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:38:y:2007:i:1:p:47-63

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Cited by:
  1. Faria, Pedro & Sofka, Wolfgang, 2008. "Formal and Strategic Appropriability Strategies of Multinational Firms: A Cross Country Comparison," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-030, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Ott, Ursula F., 2013. "International Business Research and Game Theory: Looking beyond the Prisoner's Dilemma," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 480-491.
  3. Álvarez, Isabel & Marín, Raquel, 2010. "Entry modes and national systems of innovation," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 340-353, December.
  4. Smeets, Roger & Bosker, E.M., 2011. "Leaders, laggards and technology seeking strategies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 481-497.
  5. Massimiliano Bratti & Giulia Felice, 2012. "Buyer-Supplier Relationships, Internationalization and Product Innovation," Development Working Papers 327, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 13 Nov 2012.
  6. Peters, Bettina & Schmiele, Anja, 2011. "The contribution of international R&D to firm profitability," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-002, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Chen, Chung-Jen & Huang, Yi-Fen & Lin, Bou-Wen, 2012. "How firms innovate through R&D internationalization? An S-curve hypothesis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1544-1554.
  8. Hallin, Christina & Holmström Lind, Christine, 2012. "Revisiting the external impact of MNCs: An empirical study of the mechanisms behind knowledge spillovers from MNC subsidiaries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 167-179.
  9. Ben Hamida, Lamia & Gugler, Philippe, 2009. "Are there demonstration-related spillovers from FDI?: Evidence from Switzerland," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 494-508, October.
  10. Qu, Zhe & Huang, Can & Zhang, Mingqian & Zhao, Yanyun, 2013. "R&D offshoring, technology learning and R&D efforts of host country firms in emerging economies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 502-516.
  11. Hamida, Lamia Ben, 2013. "Are there regional spillovers from FDI in the Swiss manufacturing industry?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 754-769.
  12. Michailova, Snejina & Mustaffa, Zaidah, 2012. "Subsidiary knowledge flows in multinational corporations: Research accomplishments, gaps, and opportunities," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 383-396.
  13. María C. Latorre, 2009. "The economic analysis of multinationals and foreign direct investment: a review," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 191(4), pages 97-126, December.
  14. René Belderbos & Elissavet Lykogianni & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2008. "Strategic R&D Location in European Manufacturing Industries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(2), pages 183-206, July.
  15. Isabel Álvarez & John Cantwell, 2011. "International Integration and Mandates of Innovative Subsidiaries in Spain," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 3(3), pages 415-444, October.
  16. Joel Stiebale, 2010. "The Impact of Foreign Acquisitions on the Investors‘ R&D Activities – Firm-level Evidence," Ruhr Economic Papers 0161, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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