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R&D, Value Chain Location and Firm Performance in the Global Electronics Industry


  • Namchul Shin
  • Kenneth Kraemer
  • Jason Dedrick


In today's global electronics industry, innovation is carried out by various value chain participants, including brand-name manufacturers (sometimes called lead firms), contract manufacturers and component suppliers, but there is little understanding of who benefits most from innovation in such networks. This research examines empirically the relationship of R&D spending and location in the value chain (lead vs. non-lead firms) to firm performance in the global electronics industry by using the Electronic Business 300 data set for 2000-2005. Our results show that firms spending more on R&D have higher gross profits, but do not have higher return on equity (ROE) and return on assets (ROA). There is a strong positive relationship between lead firms and performance as measured by gross profit, ROE and ROA, but the relationship between lead firms and gross profit becomes insignificant when the interaction term of R&D and lead firm is included in the analysis. Finally, lead firm status has a positive interaction effect on the relationship between R&D and gross profit. These findings suggest that the relationship of R&D to performance is mixed, but that lead firms can capture higher value (gross profit) from R&D than contract manufacturers and component suppliers.

Suggested Citation

  • Namchul Shin & Kenneth Kraemer & Jason Dedrick, 2009. "R&D, Value Chain Location and Firm Performance in the Global Electronics Industry," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 315-330.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:315-330 DOI: 10.1080/13662710902923867

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    Cited by:

    1. Cecilia Jona Lasinio & Stefano Manzocchi & Valentina Meliciani, 2017. "Knowledge Based Capital and Value Creation in Global Supply Chains," Working Papers LuissLab 17134, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    2. Lema, Rasmus & Quadros, Ruy & Schmitz, Hubert, 2012. "Shifts in Innovation Power to Brazil and India: Insights from the Auto and Software Industries," MPRA Paper 49591, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ram Mudambi & Markus Venzin, 2010. "The Strategic Nexus of Offshoring and Outsourcing Decisions," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s2), pages 1510-1533, December.
    4. Lee, In Hyeock & Rugman, Alan M., 2012. "Firm-specific advantages, inward FDI origins, and performance of multinational enterprises," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 132-146.
    5. Roberto Vona & Nadia Di Paola, 2013. "Management dell’innovazione in agricoltura e relazioni di canale in una prospettiva teorica "grounded"," MERCATI E COMPETITIVITÀ, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(4), pages 83-102.
    6. Cecilia Jona Lasinio & Stefano Manzocchi & Valentina Meliciani, 2016. "Intangible Assets and Participation in Global Value Chains: An Analysis on a Sample of European Countries," Working Papers LuissLab 16129, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.


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