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A case for non-globalization? The organisation of r&d in the wireless telecommunications industry

  • Di Minin, Alberto
  • Palmberg, Christopher

The offshoring of manufacturing has been the most visible ingredient of economic globalization in recent years. However, the rapid change in the global division of manufacturing has overshadowed another – and perhaps even more significant phenomena – namely the internationalization of the R&D and inventive activities of firms. In concrete terms this means that researchers and inventors increasingly tend to be located outside the domestic country of origin of firms, as captured in numerous empirical studies. This paper revisits the Žcase for non-globalizationŽ in the context of strategically important technologies in a truly global industry, namely the wireless telecommunications industry. It analyses, in comparative set-up, the evolution of the notified essential patent portfolios of four leading incumbents to assess to what degree and how R&D and inventive activity of this technological core of the industry is globalizing. Contrary to expectations the results clearly support the case for non-globalization. They thereby raise a range of important issues and research avenues related to the organization of R&D, locational advantages and IPR management of firms.

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Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 1047.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1047
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  1. 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.
  2. Dunning, John H., 1994. "Multinational enterprises and the globalization of innovatory capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 67-88, January.
  3. Patel, Pari & Vega, Modesto, 1999. "Patterns of internationalisation of corporate technology: location vs. home country advantages1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 145-155, March.
  4. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2001. "The internationalisation of technology analysed with patent data," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6223, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Leiponen, Aija, 2005. "Clubs and Standards: The Role of Industry Consortia in Standardization of Wirelelss Telecommunications," Discussion Papers 997, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  6. Pari Patel & Keith Pavitt, 1991. "Large Firms in the Production of the World’s Technology: An Important Case of “Non-Globalisation”," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
  7. Marc Rysman & Tim Simcoe, 2006. "Patents and Performance of Voluntary Standard Setting Organizations," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-031, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  8. Palmberg, Christopher & Pajarinen, Mika, 2005. "Alliance Capitalism and the Internationalisation of Finnish Firms," Discussion Papers 991, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  9. Walter Kuemmerle, 1999. "The Drivers of Foreign Direct Investment into Research and Development: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(1), pages 1-24, March.
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