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Technology strategy and international R and D operations

Author: De Meyer, Arnoud INSEAD Area: Technology and Operations Management Series: Working Paper ; 89/62/TM/SM Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1989.Language: EnglishDescription: 20 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: International RandD operations, though not yet a very common activity for the international firm, have been increasing over the last decade. Why is that international firms decide to accept the increased communication difficulties of geograpically decentralised RandD operations, in order to create networks of laboratories ? In this paper we discuss the three traditional explanations: closeness to cheap labour markets for engineers, closeness to markets and closeness to sources of technology. But on the basis of twelve case studies of large European and North-american firms, it is concluded that none of these can completely explain the companies' behaviour. The underlying explanation seems to be more the learning process that is going on in RandD. Further an exploration is made of the consequences of this learning objective on planning and control procedures, the networking of laboratories, and the communication between laboratories
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International RandD operations, though not yet a very common activity for the international firm, have been increasing over the last decade. Why is that international firms decide to accept the increased communication difficulties of geograpically decentralised RandD operations, in order to create networks of laboratories ? In this paper we discuss the three traditional explanations: closeness to cheap labour markets for engineers, closeness to markets and closeness to sources of technology. But on the basis of twelve case studies of large European and North-american firms, it is concluded that none of these can completely explain the companies' behaviour. The underlying explanation seems to be more the learning process that is going on in RandD. Further an exploration is made of the consequences of this learning objective on planning and control procedures, the networking of laboratories, and the communication between laboratories

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