Innovation Activities Abroad and the Effects of Liability of Foreignness: Where it Hurts
AbstractThe innovation activities of foreign subsidiaries have been identified as an important source of competitive advantage for multinational corporations. The success of these engagements depends heavily on tapping host country pools of localized expertise. To achieve this foreign subsidiaries have to overcome cultural and social barriers (liability of foreignness). We derive potential stumbling blocks in the innovation process theoretically and argue that these materialize as neglected projects, cancellations or budget overruns. We test these hypotheses empirically for more than 1,000 firms with innovation activities in Germany from various sectors. We find that foreign-controlled firms are not challenged by liability of foreignness at the project mobilization stage. The lack of local embeddedness becomes more binding as projects have to be prioritized and managed which we identify as more frequent mistakes and delays. We argue that this is the result of shared practices within the multinational firm that do not readily fit into the local context. Finally, we derive management recommendations how foreign innovation engagements can achieve similar levels of effectiveness and efficiency as host country competitors. --
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 06-29.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Liability of foreignness; offshoring R&D; internationalization; innovation management;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-02-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2007-02-17 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2007-02-17 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-PPM-2007-02-17 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
- NEP-TID-2007-02-17 (Technology & Industrial Dynamics)
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