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Organisational Learning in Multinationals R&D networks of Japanese and U.S. MNEs in the U.K

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  • Alice Lam

Abstract

The institutional approach treats organisational forms and behaviour as contingent upon institutions that are durable and socially embedded and so several authors have argued that the nature and modes of operation of multinational enterprises (MNEs) vary according to their national origins. This paper examines the ways in which national patterns of organisation and innovation affect Japanese and US MNEs' global R&D networks and transnational learning, based on case studies of their R&D laboratories in the U.K. In particular, it focuses on how these MNEs tap into foreign academic knowledge base and scientific labour through collaborative links with higher education institutions. Relative to many Japanese MNEs, U.S. firms have developed a greater organisational capacity for coordinating globally dispersed learning and embedding themselves in local innovation networks because the liberal institutional environment within which US MNEs have developed enables them to extend their organisational and human resource systems across institutional and geographical boundaries. By contrast, Japanese MNEs appear to be more limited in their transnational learning because of the much more tightly integrated organisational and business system within which they are embedded. The paper also illustrates how the contrasting logics of the US 'professional community' and the Japanese 'organisational community' model of learning are manifested in MNEs

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 03-03.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:03-03

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Web page: http://www.druid.dk/

Related research

Keywords: Innovation; globalisation; organisational learning; R&D networks; multinationals; social embeddedness; university-industry links;

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References

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  1. Nicolai J. Foss, 1996. "Firms, Incomplete Contracts and Organizational Learning," DRUID Working Papers 96-2, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  2. Peter Maskell, 1996. "Localised Low-tech Learning in the Furniture Industry," DRUID Working Papers 96-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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Cited by:
  1. Park, Byung Il & Choi, Jiyul, 2014. "Control mechanisms of MNEs and absorption of foreign technology in cross-border acquisitions," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 130-144.
  2. 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.
  3. David Marsden, 2004. "The ‘network economy’ and models of the employment contract," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 355, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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