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Headquarters’ Control Capacity and the Choice of R&D Organizational Forms Abroad

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Author Info

  • Mehdi Nekhili

    ()
    (Université de Reims Champagne Ardennes)

  • Dhikra Chebbi Nekhili

    (Université de Bourgogne)

  • Walid Cheffi

    ()
    (Groupe ESC Rouen)

Abstract

The paper aims to explain the choice of organizational forms by multinational companies (MNCs) when decentralizing abroad their R&D activities. We identify five main organizational forms: wholly owned green-field subsidiary, wholly owned acquired subsidiary, joint venture, cross-licensing agreements and unilateral licensing agreements. On the basis of questionnaires addressed to the R&D managers of American and European MNCs, we highlight that the choice of an organizational form is related to the firm’s capacity of control, performance measurement and incentive systems, to resolve the agency conflicts in each form. Our findings show that the internalization choice is underprivileged because of behavioral control difficulties. The possibility of ensuring a strategic performance evaluation of R&D activities favors the cross-licensing agreement over the joint venture choice. Finally, the choice of unilateral licensing agreements is not supported because of feasibility issues concerning the financial evaluation of the performance of R&D activities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Bourgogne - Crego EA 7317/Fargo (Research center in Finance,organizational ARchitecture and GOvernance) in its series Working Papers FARGO with number 1090503.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dij:wpfarg:1090503

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Postal: Gérard Charreaux, Fargo-Leg, Université de Bourgogne 2 Bd Gabriel, BP 26611, 21066 Dijon Cedex, France

Related research

Keywords: R&D; foreign investments; multinational companies; control mechanisms; organizational Forms.;

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References

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  1. M Krishna Erramilli, 1996. "Nationality and Subsidiary Ownership Patterns in Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(2), pages 225-248, June.
  2. Jon I Martinez & J Carlos Jarillo, 1989. "The Evolution of Research on Coordination Mechanisms in Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 20(3), pages 489-514, September.
  3. William G. Ouchi, 1979. "A Conceptual Framework for the Design of Organizational Control Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(9), pages 833-848, September.
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