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Coordinating decentralized research and development laboratories: A survey analysis

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  • Manolopoulos, Dimitris
  • Söderquist, Klas Eric
  • Pearce, Robert

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Manolopoulos, Dimitris & Söderquist, Klas Eric & Pearce, Robert, 2011. "Coordinating decentralized research and development laboratories: A survey analysis," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 114-129, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:17:y:2011:i:2:p:114-129
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    Cited by:

    1. Schmid, Stefan & Grosche, Philipp & Mayrhofer, Ulrike, 2016. "Configuration and coordination of international marketing activities," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 535-547.
    2. Maximilian Palmié & Marco Zeschky & Stephan Winterhalter & Philipp Walter Sauter & Naomi Haefner & Oliver Gassmann, 2016. "Coordination mechanisms for international innovation in SMEs: effects on time-to-market and R&D task complexity as a moderator," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 273-294, February.
    3. Lusine Arzumanyan & Ulrike Mayrhofer & Christopher Melin, 2011. "Coordinating R&D activities in multinational companies: towards new tools and practices?," Post-Print halshs-00690220, HAL.
    4. Athreye, Suma & Batsakis, Georgios & Singh, Satwinder, 2016. "Local, global, and internal knowledge sourcing: The trilemma of foreign-based R&D subsidiaries," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 5694-5702.
    5. Suma Athreye & Georgios Batsakis & Satwinder Singh, 2013. "Subsidiary Embeddedness is a Strategic Choice: Complementarity and the factors associated with different types of embeddedness," DRUID Working Papers 13-05, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

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