Title: The role of R&D in international process plant contracting

Authors: David A. Von Emloh, Alan W. Pearson, Derrick F. Ball

Addresses: R&D Research Unit, Manchester Business School, Manchester, M15 6PB, UK. ' R&D Research Unit, Manchester Business School, Manchester, M15 6PB, UK. ' Department of Marketing, Leicester Business School, De Montfort University, Leicester, LE1 9BH, UK

Abstract: This paper examines the question of whether or not international process plant contractors should perform R&D, either in-house or in collaboration with clients as partners. It then looks to determine the extent to which this research should be targeted either by process or sector. A comparison of process plant contractors which undertake R&D with those which do not shows no relationship between R&D expenditure and profitability. It appears that where R&D constitutes a competitive advantage it is through winning contracts which otherwise may have been lost and by some increased income from licensing. The paper then focuses on the possible R&D strategies for contractors, discriminating between large and small firms and examining whether or not those without an in-house facility should establish one. A major recommendation for contractors involved in R&D is the need for quite specific focusing of this activity.

Keywords: in-house R&D; process plants; contracting; research and development; research collaboration; R&D expenditure; profitability; R&D strategies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1994.025563

International Journal of Technology Management, 1994 Vol.9 No.1, pp.61 - 76

Published online: 23 May 2009 *

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