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Organisational Learning in Multinationals R&D networks of Japanese and U.S. MNEs in the U.K

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  • Alice Lam

Abstract

The institutional approach treats organisational forms and behaviour as contingent upon institutions that are durable and socially embedded and so several authors have argued that the nature and modes of operation of multinational enterprises (MNEs) vary according to their national origins. This paper examines the ways in which national patterns of organisation and innovation affect Japanese and US MNEs' global R&D networks and transnational learning, based on case studies of their R&D laboratories in the U.K. In particular, it focuses on how these MNEs tap into foreign academic knowledge base and scientific labour through collaborative links with higher education institutions. Relative to many Japanese MNEs, U.S. firms have developed a greater organisational capacity for coordinating globally dispersed learning and embedding themselves in local innovation networks because the liberal institutional environment within which US MNEs have developed enables them to extend their organisational and human resource systems across institutional and geographical boundaries. By contrast, Japanese MNEs appear to be more limited in their transnational learning because of the much more tightly integrated organisational and business system within which they are embedded. The paper also illustrates how the contrasting logics of the US 'professional community' and the Japanese 'organisational community' model of learning are manifested in MNEs

Suggested Citation

  • Alice Lam, 2003. "Organisational Learning in Multinationals R&D networks of Japanese and U.S. MNEs in the U.K," DRUID Working Papers 03-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:03-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicolai J. Foss, 1996. "Firms, Incomplete Contracts and Organizational Learning," DRUID Working Papers 96-2, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    2. Peter Maskell, 1996. "Localised Low-tech Learning in the Furniture Industry," DRUID Working Papers 96-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Park, Byung Il & Choi, Jiyul, 2014. "Control mechanisms of MNEs and absorption of foreign technology in cross-border acquisitions," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 130-144.
    2. Liu , Ju & Liefner , Ingo, 2016. "The Joint Influencing Mechanism of Proximities and Knowledge Base on Multinational Companies’ Global Innovation Networks," Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/4, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    3. Chen, Chung-Jen & Huang, Yi-Fen & Lin, Bou-Wen, 2012. "How firms innovate through R&D internationalization? An S-curve hypothesis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1544-1554.
    4. Filippaios, Fragkiskos & Papanastassiou, Marina & Pearce, Robert & Rama, Ruth, 2009. "New forms of organisation and R&D internationalisation among the world's 100 largest food and beverages multinationals," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1032-1043, July.
    5. Bjørn T. Asheim & Bernd Ebersberger & Sverre J. Herstad, 2012. "MNCs between the Local and the Global: Knowledge Bases, Proximity and Distributed Knowledge Networks," Chapters,in: Innovation and Institutional Embeddedness of Multinational Companies, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. David Marsden, 2004. "The 'Network Economy' and Models of the Employment Contract," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(4), pages 659-684, December.
    7. Avimanyu Datta, 2016. "Evaluating The Antecedents Of Foundational Innovations: A Longitudinal Look At Patents From Information Technology Industry," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(01), pages 1-29, January.
    8. Liu, Ju, 2014. "How Do Geographical and Organisational Proximity Influence the Relational Pattern of MNCs’ Global Innovation Networks: An In-depth Case Study," Papers in Innovation Studies 2014/16, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    9. Dutta, Dev K. & Malhotra, Shavin & Zhu, PengCheng, 2016. "Internationalization process, impact of slack resources, and role of the CEO: The duality of structure and agency in evolution of cross-border acquisition decisions," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 212-225.
    10. Jeremy Howells, 2011. "Innovation and Globalisation: A Systems of Innovation Perspective," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Globalisation, Second Edition, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; globalisation; organisational learning; R&D networks; multinationals; social embeddedness; university-industry links;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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