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Does Multinationality Affect the Propensity to Innovate? An Analysis of the Third UK Community Innovation Survey

  • Marion Frenz
  • Grazia Ietto-Gillies

The paper is developed at the interface between internationalization and innovation studies. It utilizes data on innovation from the UK Community Innovation Surveys 3 and 2 (CIS3 and CIS2) to assess whether multinationality affects the innovation propensity of surveyed enterprises. The indicators of innovation propensity—our dependent variables—are taken from the following CIS sets of variables: innovation outputs; innovation inputs; innovation outcomes (patent applications); innovation continuity/sustainability. The latter element is considered to be the ability of the enterprise to sustain innovation over a long period of time and the relevant variable is derived from both CIS3 and 2 data. This allows the paper to introduce dynamic elements into the analysis. Four hypotheses are developed and tested. Our main hypothesis states that multinationality per se (i.e. being part of a multinational company network) affects the propensity to innovate. We also test for three sub-hypotheses related to characteristics of multinationality: belonging to a group vs being independent; degree of multinationality; being part of a foreign vs domestic multinational. The results show that all those CIS enterprises that belong to a multinational corporation—whether UK or foreign—are more likely to exhibit innovation propensity; they are also more likely to engage in innovation activities on a continuous basis.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 99-117

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Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:21:y:2007:i:1:p:99-117
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  1. Grazia Ietto-Gillies, 2012. "Transnational companies and finance," Chapters, in: Handbook of Critical Issues in Finance, chapter 42, pages i-ii Edward Elgar.
  2. Castellani, Davide & Zanfei, Antonello, 2004. "Choosing international linkage strategies in the electronics industry: the role of multinational experience," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 447-475, April.
  3. Tether, Bruce S., 2002. "Who co-operates for innovation, and why: An empirical analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 947-967, August.
  4. Geroski, P. A. & Van Reenen, J. & Walters, C. F., 1997. "How persistently do firms innovate?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-48, March.
  5. Sadowski, B.M. & Beers van, C., 2002. "The Innovation Performance of Foreign Affiliates: Evidence from Dutch Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers 02.17, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
  6. Cefis, Elena & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2001. "The persistence of innovative activities: A cross-countries and cross-sectors comparative analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1139-1158, August.
  7. Marion Frenz & Claudia Girardone & Grazia Ietto-Gillies, 2005. "Multinationality Matters in Innovation: The Case of the UK Financial Services," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 65-92.
  8. Zanfei, Antonello, 2000. "Transnational Firms and the Changing Organisation of Innovative Activities," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(5), pages 515-42, September.
  9. Cantwell, John, 1995. "The Globalisation of Technology: What Remains of the Product Cycle Model?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 155-74, February.
  10. Cefis, Elena, 2003. "Is there persistence in innovative activities?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 489-515, April.
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