The growing internationalization of R&D activities challenges multinational corporations (MNCs) to formulate technology strategies and manage increasingly diffuse and diverse networks of R&D laboratories and alliances in the context of disparate national institutions. This paper examines the evolutionary processes of MNCs' R&D strategies in China in terms of two principal dimensions, i.e. geographic dispersion and functional focus. Based on a study of 378 international R&D centers and alliances established in China over the 1995-2001 period, we investigate the evolution of managing international R&D configurations in an emerging economy. The model is further illustrated with key findings from case studies of three leading high-tech MNCs in managing their global R&D operations in China over 1996-2004, specifically Fujitsu, Motorola and Nokia. This study contributes to the existing literature by exploring the globalization of R&D through foreign centers of scientific and technological excellence, which enables MNCs to innovate closer to their product markets and manufacturing facilities in emerging markets.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research