Title: Networking and R&D in domestic and FDI plants in Spanish electronics clusters

Authors: Adelheid Holl, Ruth Rama

Addresses: Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (FEDEA), C/ Jorge Juan, 46, 28001 Madrid, Spain. ' Department of Economics, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), C/ Albasanz, 26-28 (room 3E15), 28037 Madrid, Spain

Abstract: To fully understand foreign affiliates| behaviour in regional agglomerations (hereafter RAs), we argue it would be useful to analyse the networking patterns of such affiliates in reference to domestic firms within the local market environment. Consequently, we examined 184 electronics plants, both domestic and foreign, in three Spanish RAs. The foreign direct investment (FDI) plants show patterns of cooperation similar to those of clustered domestic plants, involving joint R&D, outsourcing and other types of inter-firm collaboration. FDI plants are, in some respects, less embedded in RAs than are domestic plants. Domestic market-seeking FDIs, probably as a strategy to adapt products to the domestic market, tend to collaborate more with regional partners than do export-seeking FDIs. FDI plants consider within-group subcontracting relationships as more important than do domestic multiplant companies. Nevertheless, the former apparently integrate both intra-firm and inter-firm subcontracting in their strategy. On the other hand, R&D-intensive FDI plants tend to stay away from collaboration with other companies, probably to avoid involuntary spillovers of their knowledge.

Keywords: business networks; cooperation; subcontracting; R&D; innovativeness; multinational enterprises; MNEs; foreign affiliates; domestic firms; electronics sector; regional agglomerations; research and development; Spain; foreign direct investment; FDI; strategic alliances; collaboration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSBA.2009.025354

International Journal of Strategic Business Alliances, 2009 Vol.1 No.2, pp.182 - 204

Published online: 19 May 2009 *

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