New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Sarianna M. Lundan
Chapter 9: Patterns of R & D co-operation by European firms: cost-economizing vs. technology-seeking
Chapter 9 21/6/02 11:29 AM Page 1 9. Patterns of R&D co-operation by European firms: cost-economizing vs. technology-seeking Luis Miotti, Frédérique Sachwald INTRODUCTION Since the 1980s, the increasing role of innovation as a factor of competitiveness and the acceleration of the pace of technological progress have compounded to compel firms to both deepen and broaden their innovative capabilities. Firms have allocated increasing resources to R&D, both to speed up the pace of innovation and to diversify their technological capabilities. They have also designed new R&D practices, involving both internal organizational changes and the build up of complex networks to deal with increasing R&D outsourcing and various types of technological partnerships. These evolutions have taken place in the context of increasing globalization and R&D has become much more integrated into the international organization of firms, while innovative activities had long been concentrated in the home base. The dynamic global competitive environment and efforts by firms to expand and reorganize their innovative capabilities have led to a reassessment of a number of results from the economic literature on multinationals and on national innovation systems. Evolutionary and resource-based perspectives both emphasize the sticky character of innovative capabilities. The latter evolve along specific trajectories, which depend both on geography and history as firms’ capabilities are embedded in national systems of innovation. Yet, in the context of globalization and as firms strive to access external technological resources through a complex web of transfer and learning, they tend...
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