Coordinating decentralized research and development laboratories: A survey analysis
The growing internationalization and strategic diversity of research and development (R&D) activities create important managerial challenges for the globally competing multinational enterprise (MNE). Driven by recent theoretical considerations and empirical studies, we provide complementary insights to the international management literature by investigating the impact of strategic variables (roles of decentralized R&D units) and some commonly studied FDI characteristics (industry, size and country of origin) on the coordination patterns used in the context of international R&D. As a conceptual background, five categories of coordination mechanisms are generated (structural, formal hierarchical, people-based, social and information technology platform infrastructures). Our findings, based on a quantitative inductive analysis, reveal that laboratory-related characteristics (roles, age and size) stand out as the most influential determinants of coordination mechanisms and instruments. The study also highlights that MNEs are moving towards a more complicated and multifaceted integration pattern of their decentralized technology strategies. Implications for international managers, academic researches and decision makers are discussed.
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Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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