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Techological capability building in MNE-related social businesses of less developed countries: The experience of Grameen-Danone Foods in Bangladesh

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  • Peerally, Jahan A.

    ()
    (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Montreal)

  • Figueiredo, Paulo N.

    ()
    (Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE), Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), Rio de Janeiro)

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    Abstract

    Although there has been considerable research on firm-level technological capability building in the context of developing economies, there is a scarcity of studies which examine this issue in multinational enterprises' socially motivated businesses located in less developed economies. This paper examines the latterissue on the basis of first-hand empirical evidence derived from an extensive field research on Grameen-Danone Foods Limited (GDFL) in Bangladesh. The study found that GDFL generated relevant spillovers to the host economy by accumulating production capabilities in association with innovation capabilities at intermediate levels across four technological functions: project management, process and production organization, product centred and equipment-related. Apart from revealing the types of frugal and reverse innovations which emanates from such a business, our study also explores - unlike existing studies which only focus on the financial and social benefits - the technological benefits generated froma social business model.Understanding the nature and dynamics of technological activities in social businesses of less developed economies is relevant for the achievement of enhanced local, autonomous and sustainable economic and social development.

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    File URL: http://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2013/wp2013-036.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 036.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2013036

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    Keywords: Technological capability building; MNEs; MNE subsidiaries; social businesses; entrepreneurship; bottom of the pyramid; less developed countries; Bangladesh;

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    1. Norlela Ariffin & Paulo Figueiredo, 2004. "Internationalization of innovative capabilities: counter-evidence from the electronics industry in Malaysia and Brazil," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 559-583.
    2. Boehe, Dirk Michael, 2007. "Product development in MNC subsidiaries: Local linkages and global interdependencies," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 488-512, December.
    3. Norlela Ariffin, 2010. "Internationalisation of technological innovative capabilities: levels, types and speed (learning rates) in the electronics industry in Malaysia," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(4), pages 347-391.
    4. Julian Birkinshaw & Neil Hood, 2000. "Characteristics of Foreign Subsidiaries in Industry Clusters," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(1), pages 141-154, March.
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