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International Intrafirm Transfer of Management Technology by Japanese Multinational Corporations


  • Shujiro Urata
  • Toshiyuki Matsuura
  • Yuhong Wei


Authors analyze the pattern of intrafirm transfer of management technology from Japanese multinational corporations (MNCs) to their overseas affiliates by using firm-level micro data and discern the determinants of the extent of technology transfer achieved. Defining intrafirm transfer of technology achieved as the case where responsibility of the task such as top management, sales, and labor management is given to local staff rather than Japanese staff, authors found that top management has been transferred at a limited number of affiliates, while the task of labor management has been transferred at many affiliates. Among the affiliates in different regions, technology transfer has been relatively more extensively achieved at affiliates in Europe, while it has been relatively limited at affiliates in ASEAN countries. An examination of the determinants of technology transfer revealed that the length of operation of the affiliates, and the quality of labor in the host countries have significantly positive impacts for the affiliates in Asia. These observations indicate the importance of providing an FDI friendly environment, under which MNCs are likely to stay for a long period, and the importance of improving the quality of human resources through education and training, in order to promote intrafirm transfer of management technology.

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  • Shujiro Urata & Toshiyuki Matsuura & Yuhong Wei, 2006. "International Intrafirm Transfer of Management Technology by Japanese Multinational Corporations," Discussion papers 06006, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:06006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David J. Teece, 2008. "Technology Transfer By Multinational Firms: The Resource Cost Of Transferring Technological Know-How," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World, chapter 1, pages 1-22 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Theodore H. Moran & Edward M. Graham & Magnus Blomstrom, 2005. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Development?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3810.
    3. Kamal Saggi, 2002. "Trade, Foreign Direct Investment, and International Technology Transfer: A Survey," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 191-235, September.
    4. René A Belderbos & Mariëlle G Heijltjes, 2005. "The determinants of expatriate staffing by Japanese multinationals in Asia: control, learning and vertical business groups," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 36(3), pages 341-354, May.
    5. Davies, Howard, 1977. "Technology Transfer through Commercial Transactions," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 161-175, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. THORBECKE William, 2016. "Increasing the Resilience of Asian Supply Chains to Natural Disasters: The Role of the Financial Sector," Working Papers DP-2016-08, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    2. Keiko Ito & Kyoji Fukao, 2010. "Determinants of the Profitability of Japanese Manufacturing Affiliates in China and Other Regions: Does Localisation of Procurement, Sales and Management Matter?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(12), pages 1639-1671, December.
    3. Kyoji Fukao & Keiko Ito & Shigesaburo Kabe & Deqiang Liu & Fumihide Takeuchi, 2006. "Do Japanese Firms Fail to Catch up in Localization? An Empirical Analysis Based on Affiliate-level Data of Japanese Firms and a Case Study of Automobile Industry in China," Microeconomics Working Papers 21890, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. Thorbecke, Willem, 2011. "Transpacific Imbalances and Macroeconomic Codependency," ADBI Working Papers 299, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    5. Willem Thorbecke & Biswa N. Bhattacharyay, 2012. "Role of Production Networks in Sustaining and Rebalancing Asia's Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 3896, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania & Teshima, Kensuke, 2016. "Foreign employees as channel for technology transfer: Evidence from MNC's subsidiaries in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 92-112.
    7. Willem THORBECKE, 2010. "The Appropriate Policy Mix for China," Policy Discussion Papers 10002, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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