Technology Acquisition among Asian Firms and Technology Clusters in the United States
This paper examines the nature of reverse technology transfer between Asian firms and their subsidiaries in the United States (US). Traditional models of technology transfer suggest that industrializing Asian firms access international technology and knowledge through local spillovers from the activities of foreign firms located in Asia. In this research, we propose a new model of technology development where Asian subsidiaries locate in targeted geographical areas in the US with the objective of acquiring both tacit and codifiable knowledge. Acquisition patterns involve a combination of interactions between suppliers and customers, and, human resource dynamics in the US. Industrial prototypes and knowledge are then transferred back to parent firms in Asia. This pattern of technology development among industrializing Asian firms suggests that a category of subsidiaries is emerging that plays a far more developmental role than the literature currently acknowledges. It also points to shifts in firm strategy in terms of international patterns of technology transfer from learning-by-doing to learning-by-interacting.
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