Title: Strategic R&D internationalisation in developing Asian countries - the Italian experience

Authors: Stefano Bresciani; Alkis Thrassou; Demetris Vrontis

Addresses: School of Management and Economics, University of Torino, Corso Unione Sovietica, 218 bis, 10134 Torino, Italy ' School of Business, University of Nicosia, 46 Makedonitissas Ave., P.O. Box 24005, 1700 Nicosia, Cyprus ' University of Nicosia, 46 Makedonitissas Ave., P.O. Box 24005, 1700 Nicosia, Cyprus

Abstract: Increasingly over the last two decades, companies not only produce and sell, but also develop goods and services outside their home countries. Rapidly becoming the rule rather than the exception, these firms undertake significant R&D activities at different locations abroad. The phenomenon is especially visible in the developing Asian countries, whose markets are becoming extremely attractive to foreign firms while their workforces and infrastructural R&D capacities and competencies themselves progressively favour R&D. The aim of this paper is to show R&D internationalisation activities of firms from Italy in Asian developing countries. Using a dataset of 500 Italian firms with international R R&DD units, as well as interviews, we researched whether companies follow a knowledge augmenting or knowledge sourcing strategy. The results show a positive relation between the choice to settle R&D units in Asia and the sale of innovative products in Asia, concluding that firms follow a knowledge exploiting strategy, establishing their whole innovation value chain to developing Asian countries.

Keywords: research and development; strategic R&D; innovation; R&D internationalisation; knowledge augmenting strategy; knowledge sourcing strategy; Asia; Italy; developing countries; knowledge exploiting strategy; value chain.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2015.068579

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.11 No.2/3, pp.200 - 216

Available online: 18 Mar 2015

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