Network Knowledge in International Business

Network Knowledge in International Business

New Horizons in International Business series

Edited by Sarianna M. Lundan

This book focuses on current cutting-edge research concerning the increasing strategic importance of subsidiary networks to the multinational firm. It combines contributions from three major related areas of inquiry: the changing theoretical conception of networks and the structure of the multinational firm, the importance of spillovers and agglomeration economies related to multinational investments, and the management of the flow of information and knowledge from headquarters to subsidiaries and vice versa.

Chapter 9: Patterns of R & D co-operation by European firms: cost-economizing vs. technology-seeking

Luis Miotti and Frédérique Sachwald

Subjects: business and management, international business

Extract

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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