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Trends in the Internationalisation of R&D - the German Perspective

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  • Marian Beise
  • Heike Belitz

Abstract

In this paper we present latest facts about the R&D activities of German multinational companies abroad and R&D activities of foreign companies in Germany. These results confirm that Germany is still an attractive location for R&D activites of multinational companies in many technological fields. However, the internationalisation of R&D is closely linked with the internationalisation of sales and production. In the commonly accepted eclectic theoretical approach by Dunning direct investment is pushed by companies that have advantages over their competitors in the host countries, where also attractive locational advantages exist. Since R&D is a source of both ownership and locational advantages, it was suggested earlier that instead of owning a technological advantage, companies with technological weaknesses start R&D in countries, which possess a technological advantage, to get access to new technologies. In contrast we found that German firms prefer to do R&D abroad in technological fields in which they hold a technological lead, e.g. in chemicals, pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles, but that they tend to perform R&D in countries which are also strong in these fields. Our results suggest that in most cases it is not the technological superiority of the host country itself which is the decisive locational advantage to attract multinationals' R&D but the lead-market function of that country or region.
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Suggested Citation

  • Marian Beise & Heike Belitz, 1998. "Trends in the Internationalisation of R&D - the German Perspective," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 67(2), pages 67-85.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:67-20-2
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/141198
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:sae:niesru:v:160:y::i:1:p:63-75 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Spyros Arvanitis & Heinz Hollenstein, 2001. "Technologiestandort Schweiz im Zuge der Globalisierung: Eine explorative Analyse der F&E-Aktivitäten schweizerischer Industrieunternehmen im Ausland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 137(II), pages 129-148, June.
    2. Tiwari, Rajnish & Herstatt, Cornelius, 2011. "Lead market factors for global innovation: Emerging evidence from India," Working Papers 61, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute for Technology and Innovation Management.
    3. Tiwari, Rajnish & Herstatt, Cornelius, 2012. "India - a lead market for frugal innovations? Extending the lead market theory to emerging economies," Working Papers 67, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute for Technology and Innovation Management.
    4. Andre Jungmittag, 2016. "Techno-Globalisierung," EIIW Discussion paper disbei221, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    5. Tiwari, Rajnish & Herstatt, Cornelius, 2011. "Role of "Lead Market" factors in globalization of innovation: Emerging evidence from India & its implications," Working Papers 64, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute for Technology and Innovation Management.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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