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Changing perspectives on the internationalization of R&D and innovation by multinational enterprises: A review of the literature

Published on Aug 19, 2019in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
· DOI :10.1057/s41267-019-00258-0
Marina Papanastassiou16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Middlesex University),
Robert Pearce23
Estimated H-index: 23
(University of Reading),
Antonello Zanfei20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Urbino)
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Abstract
Internationalization of R&D and innovation by multinational enterprises (MNEs) has undergone a gradual and comprehensive change in perspective over the past 50 years. From sporadic works in the late 1950s and in the 1960s, it became a systematically analyzed topic in the 1970s, starting with pioneering reports and “foundation texts”. Our review unfolds the theoretical and empirical evolution of the literature from dyadic interpretations of centralization versus decentralization of R&D by MNEs to more comprehensive frameworks, wherein established MNEs from advanced economies still play a pivotal role, but new players and places also emerge in the global generation and diffusion of knowledge. Hence, views of R&D internationalization increasingly rely on concepts, ideas, and methods from IB and other related disciplines such as industrial organization, international economics, and economic geography. Two main findings are highlighted. First, scholarly research pays increasing attention to the network-like characteristics of international R&D activities. Second, different streams of literature have emphasized the role of location-specific factors in R&D internationalization. The increasing emphasis on these aspects has created new research opportunities in some key areas, including inter alia: cross-border knowledge-sourcing strategies, changes in the geography of R&D and innovation, and the international fragmentation of production and R&D activities.
  • References (411)
  • Citations (1)
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References411
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Published on May 23, 2019in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Kenneth Guang-Lih Huang5
Estimated H-index: 5
(NUS: National University of Singapore),
Kenneth G Huang , Jiatao Li31
Estimated H-index: 31
Is there knowledge adoption of innovations from emerging economies? We theorize that, to help overcome information asymmetry across countries, granting patents to technology in the emerging economy of China can serve as a signal of technology potential and market opportunity to enhance technological knowledge adoption in a developed economy such as the United States. The effect may be greater in a complex technology sector with high information asymmetry than in a discrete technology sector, and...
Published on Sep 1, 2019in Research Policy5.42
Damián Tojeiro-Rivero , Rosina Moreno17
Estimated H-index: 17
Abstract Much has been said about the role that technological networking activities play on the innovative performance of firms, but little is known about how the regional context influences the efficiency of such networking activities. In this paper we hypothesize that the transformation of firms’ networking activities into innovation may vary depending on the regional environment in which the firm is located. For Spanish manufactures in the period 2000-12 and through the use of a multilevel fr...
Davide Castellani21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of Reading),
Katiuscia Lavoratori (Warw.: University of Warwick)
The literature has highlighted that the propensity of MNEs to co-locate offshore R&D labs with their production plants can vary substantially according to firm and industry characteristics. In this paper, we apply a novel two-stage estimation procedure that allows us to tease out this heterogenous behavior and investigate the factors that are associated with a higher propensity to co-locate production and R&D activities abroad. Using data on 1483 greenfield international investments in R&D activ...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Journal of International Business Studies7.72
Michael Nippa1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Free University of Bozen-Bolzano),
Jeffrey J. Reuer41
Estimated H-index: 41
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder)
International joint ventures (IJVs) are an important type of international strategic alliance (ISA) and have been studied by scholars for decades, resulting in a plethora of empirical studies, publications, and reviews, yet an inadequate accumulation of knowledge exists, as a closer look reveals. Much more than providing a summary and critical assessment of past contributions, this paper develops an expansive research agenda based upon a deep understanding of past research and comprehensive fram...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Industrial and Corporate Change1.82
Katarina Blomkvist7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Uppsala University),
Philip Kappen8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Uppsala University),
Ivo Zander8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Uppsala University)
Published on May 1, 2019in Journal of Economic Geography3.36
Christopher R. Esposito1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles),
David L. Rigby20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Journal of Business Research4.03
Demetris Vrontis24
Estimated H-index: 24
(University of Nicosia),
Michael Christofi3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Nicosia)
Abstract Research on research and development (R&D) internationalization appears in several disciplines, with significant contributions in innovation, international business, management, and strategy research. Although the phenomenon is widely used in both research and practice, the impact of this concept on innovation is still not clear due to the multi-disciplinary nature of this relationship. This research gap is the motivation for the present study. Through a systematic review of 42 articles...
María García-Vega5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Nottingham),
Patricia Hofmann1
Estimated H-index: 1
(RUB: Ruhr University Bochum),
Richard Kneller31
Estimated H-index: 31
(University of Nottingham)
We consider theoretically and empirically how the location and organization of knowledge production evolve within domestic firms during the period of their acquisition by foreign multinationals. Acquisitions do not increase the risk of closure of the subsidiary’s research labs unless acquired by MNEs at the technological frontier. Conditional on keeping research in the subsidiary, there is a large decrease of innovation expenditures, transfer of knowledge and reorganization towards high-skilled ...
Published on Feb 1, 2019in Industrial and Corporate Change1.82
Christopher Freeman43
Estimated H-index: 43
(University of Sussex)
This paper attempts to present a theory of economic growth. In Section I it discusses the experience of growth modelling over the past 40 years and argues that it fails to capture the most important features of institutional and technical change. Nevertheless as a method for ordering concepts it can be a useful complement to historical research. The problem with history is the almost infinite multitude of events, which have to be classified, described and analysed. A simplifying theoretical fram...
Cited By1
Newest
Davide Castellani21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of Reading),
Katiuscia Lavoratori (Warw.: University of Warwick)
The literature has highlighted that the propensity of MNEs to co-locate offshore R&D labs with their production plants can vary substantially according to firm and industry characteristics. In this paper, we apply a novel two-stage estimation procedure that allows us to tease out this heterogenous behavior and investigate the factors that are associated with a higher propensity to co-locate production and R&D activities abroad. Using data on 1483 greenfield international investments in R&D activ...