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Multinational Enterprises and the Geographical Clustering of Innovation


  • Ram Mudambi
  • Tim Swift


Research on the geographic clustering of economic activity dates back to the early twentieth century. It is recognized that in spite of advances in transportation and communications, clustering remains most critical, and is consequently prevalent, in knowledge-intensive fields. Multinational enterprises (MNEs) that increasingly base their value creation and competitive advantage on knowledge-intensive activities are key participants in clusters, affecting both the nature and intertemporal evolution of local innovative activities. However, the role of MNEs in clusters remains under-researched. This paper traces the origins of research on geographic clusters, identifies the seminal contributions focusing on the role of MNEs, discusses potential problems inherent to this area of inquiry and develops an organizing framework for new research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ram Mudambi & Tim Swift, 2012. "Multinational Enterprises and the Geographical Clustering of Innovation," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:19:y:2012:i:1:p:1-21 DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2012.649058

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luo, Yadong, 2006. "Opportunism in Inter-firm Exchanges in Emerging Markets," Management and Organization Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 121-147, March.
    2. Bönte, Werner, 2008. "Inter-firm trust in buyer-supplier relations: Are knowledge spillovers and geographical proximity relevant?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 855-870, September.
    3. Charles Dhanaraj & Marjorie A Lyles & H Kevin Steensma & Laszlo Tihanyi, 2004. "Managing tacit and explicit knowledge transfer in IJVs: the role of relational embeddedness and the impact on performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 428-442, September.
    4. Yadong Luo, 2006. "Opportunism in Inter-firm Exchanges in Emerging Markets," Management and Organization Review, International Association of Chinese Management Research, vol. 2(1), pages 121-147, March.
    5. Giacomo Becattini & Marco Bellandi & Gabi Del Ottati & Fabio Sforzi, 2003. "From Industrial Districts to Local Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2884.
    6. Parkhe, Arvind, 1998. "Understanding trust in international alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 219-240, October.
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    1. repec:spr:epolin:v:44:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40812-016-0062-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Giuliani, Elisa & Gorgoni, Sara & Günther, Christina & Rabellotti, Roberta, 2014. "Emerging versus advanced country MNEs investing in Europe: A typology of subsidiary global–local connections," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 680-691.

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