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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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    1. repec:spr:epolin:v:44:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40812-016-0062-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. David Edgington & Roger Hayter, 2013. "The In Situ Upgrading of Japanese Electronics Firms in Malaysian Industrial Clusters," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 89(3), pages 227-259, July.
    3. 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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