Authors: Yun-Chung Chen; Jan Vang; Cristina Chaminade
Addresses: Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong. ' Sino-Danish Center and Center for Industrial Production, Department for Business and Management, Aalborg University, Lautrupvang 2b, 2750 Ballerup, Denmark. ' CIRCLE, Lund University, P.O. Box 117, Sweden
Abstract: The global location of R&D labs by MNCs is a rather new phenomenon; especially when it comes to establishing R&D labs in developing countries. The existing and rather limited literature on globalisation of innovation provides four possible explanations of why multinationals locate R&D labs in developing countries: reduce research costs, access large markets, tap into a large pool of qualified human resources or benefit from knowledge spillovers available in the local/regional system of innovation. The empirical research presented in this paper reveals that none of these arguments can fully explain the increasing location of R&D labs in China. The in-depth study of MNCs R&D labs in Beijing and Shanghai, China, reveals that specific aspects of market, technological and political uncertainty provide a more adequate explanation to the increasing presence of R&D labs from MNCs in developing countries such as China and thus calls for an integration in the regional innovation systems framework.
Keywords: innovation; globalisation; China; catching up; knowledge-intensive industries; research and development; research laboratory location; MNCs; R&D labs; developing countries; multinationals; multinational corporations; regional innovation systems.
International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 2012 Vol.6 No.4, pp.264 - 284
Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021
Published online: 11 Dec 2012 *