New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Martin Heidenreich
Chapter 6: Simulating the Role of MNCs for Knowledge and Capital Dynamics in Networks of Innovation
Petra Ahrweiler, Michel Schilperoord, Nigel Gilbert and Andreas Pyka In this chapter we investigate the effects of the presence and embeddedness of multinational corporations (MNCs) in networks of innovation. New products and processes can result from the ongoing interactions of innovative organizations such as universities, research institutes, firms such as MNCs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), government agencies, venture capitalists and others. These organizations generate and exchange knowledge, financial capital and other resources in networks of relationships, which are embedded in institutional frameworks on the local, regional, national and international level (Ahrweiler, 2010). Innovation is an emergent property from these interactions on the micro level, providing the combination of actors and organizations, their capabilities and their cooperative behaviours match. By looking at knowledge flows and capital stocks, we investigate whether the mere presence of MNCs is beneficial for innovation networks and whether there is an additional advantage if these MNCs are engaged in collaborative R&D with other players in the network. We examine the role of MNCs for innovation networks from the perspective of their subsidiaries’ host countries by applying the agent-based SKIN model (Simulating Knowledge Dynamics in Innovation Networks; see Ahrweiler et al., 2011). The simulation is grounded in the empirical example of Ireland, enabling us to analyse the role of MNCs in the Irish indigenous industry. Before Ireland was particularly hard hit by the economic and financial crisis, foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country produced a very high GDP growth rate. Since the 1970s there...
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