The Internationalisation of Business R & D

The Internationalisation of Business R & D

New Perspectives on the Modern Corporation series

Edited by Bernhard Dachs, Robert Stehrer and Georg Zahradnik

It has become clear that over the past few decades enterprises not only produce and sell abroad but increasingly also develop goods and services outside their home countries; a development now known as the internationalisation of business R & D. This book presents a comprehensive picture of the current state of internationalisation of R & D in the business sector.

Chapter 8: The Structure of Cross-Country R & D Expenditure: A Social Network Analysis Perspective

Thomas Scherngeli

Subjects: business and management, international business, economics and finance, economics of innovation, international business, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


The analysis of the volume and magnitude of R & D internationalisation provides valuable insights into patterns of R & D internationalisation from a country-by-country centric view. However, the internationalisation of R & D generates multiple relationships between countries; analysing these relationships in the whole system of trans-border R & D activity is an important additional aspect. In this sense, it is necessary to move from a dyadic perspective ñ focusing on R & D by firms from country A in country B ñ to a network perspective that basically also takes the R & D activities of firms from a dyad in all other countries of the system into consideration. Thus, this chapter moves one step further and analyses the structure of R & D internationalisation from a network perspective. In doing so, we look at the whole set of countries and relationships between these countries as measured by inward BERD. The aim of this approach is to make sense of the structure of this network, to identify the countries which are well connected with all other countries, or have no connection with parts of the network. In addition, we will identify the strongest links at the level of individual countries, as well as see if there are sub-groups of countries in the network which are well-connected with each other, but have only weak linkages with countries outside the sub-group. We consider the inward BERD linkages between countries as an indicator for international technology diffusion (Keller 2004). The chapter is organised as follows. The next subsection introduces the social network perspective on R & D internationalisation and defines the network under consideration in a formal manner. Afterwards, structural characteristics of the network are presented, mainly focusing on indicators for cohesion of the network. Then we present some actor characteristics highlighting the position of specific countries in the network in terms of different network analytics centrality measures, before the network is analysed and visualised with respect to its spatial configuration. The chapter closes with an analysis of the relative strengths of the network links in terms of a Jaccard Index and a short summary.

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