Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2013/12: MNC affiliation, knowledge bases and involvement in global innovation networks

Sverre J. Herstad (), Bernd Ebersberger () and Bjørn Asheim ()
Additional contact information
Sverre J. Herstad: Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), Oslo; CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Bernd Ebersberger: MCI Management Center Innsbruck,Austria
Bjørn Asheim: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: Innovation collaboration is subjected to partner search and selection constraints. These constraints are reinforced by geographical distance, and mediated by privileged information accessed through pre-existing formal and informal ties to foreign business contexts. Multinational corporations may therefore influence the collaborative linkages maintained by their affiliates abroad, outside the group network. This paper shows that the sensitivity of foreign collaboration to resources provided by the parent group is dependent on whether affiliates of the multinational are engaged in developing cross-disciplinary, application-specific technological knowledge with a strong tacit content (e.g. systems engineering), knowledge with a strong aesthetic of cultural content (e.g. media or fashion) or knowledge dominated by specific scientific disciplines (e.g. biotechnology).

Keywords: Multinational corporations; industrial knowledge bases; innovation collaboration; globalization

JEL-codes: F23; L24; O32

39 pages, March 3, 2013

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