John Cantwell- Seminario 'Nuevos enfoques sobre políticas de innovación'


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Los días 13 y 14 de marzo de 2014, la Fundación Ramón Areces organizó con el Instituto de Estudios de la Innovación (IREIN) y el Foro de Empresas Innovadoras una jornada sobre 'Nuevos enfoques sobre políticas de innovación'. Contó con la intervención de destacados expertos internacionales como Luc Soete, rector de la Universidad de Maastricht; Julia Lane, del American Institutes for Research (AIR) de Estados Unidos; Giovanni Dosi,
del Institute of Economics de la Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italia); Daniele Archibugi, del CNRS y del Birkbeck College de la University of London; John Cantwell, del Rutgers Business School de Rutgers University (Estados Unidos); Jorge Katz, de la Universidad de Chile; Tom Hockaday, del ISIS Innovation de la Universidad de Oxford (Reino Unido), y Johan Schot, del Science and Technology Policy Research de la University of Sussex (Reino Unido).

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John Cantwell- Seminario 'Nuevos enfoques sobre políticas de innovación'

  1. 1. Explaining Patterns of Knowledge Sourcing in MNCs John Cantwell Rutgers University and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of International Business Studies Innovation Studies Seminar Madrid, March 2014
  2. 2. Background • Non-localized technological knowledge search has gradually been rising as (i) specialized knowledge deepening has its limits, and (ii) the technological complexity embodied in products increases • MNC foreign subunits have a particular role to play in this respect, through their potential to access more technologically distant knowledge sources in fields of host location (vs. home location) specialization • Combining internal with distant external knowledge may give rise to new areas of value creation John Cantwell 2
  3. 3. Goals of Knowledge Combination • Core internal areas of knowledge may be combined with more distant external knowledge to build upon and extend the established technological base of the firm in some new direction • Or, such combinations may be used to address in a novel way a known problem or issue within the established industry context, for which localized solutions have proved inadequate • MNC subunits may combine international internal (parent) and local external knowledge John Cantwell 3
  4. 4. Arranging Backward Citation Data • We can examine knowledge accumulation across boundaries in each of three dimensions: • Geographical boundaries o Importance of local and international knowledge sourcing • Technological ‘boundaries’ or the distance between different fields of endeavor o Implications of more ‘distant’ versus less distant knowledge combinations • Organizational boundaries o Importance of intra- and inter-organizational sourcing John Cantwell 4
  5. 5. Illustration of the Structure Parent Subunit: the operation of an MNC in one host country location Host Country Home Country John Cantwell 5
  6. 6. Some Key Contentions • A rising technological distance of combinations and local subunit creativity tends to lead to search being conducted across organizational boundaries, especially when such search is geographically localized • But in the traditional fields of strength of their own MNC group, creative subunits draw even more heavily on their parent company's knowledge base • This complementary combination of external and internal knowledge sources is especially relevant in the context of more open innovation systems John Cantwell 6
  7. 7. A Foundational Theme • Competence-creating (CC) subsidiary activities rely upon the development of combinative capabilities • The emergence of new fields of competencies (for the MNC group) represent a search for new domains of application for established lines of business, or the fresh application of local knowledge within the MNC's own industry or line(s) of business • So, CC subsidiary activities do not move a subunit out of its initial base, but rather broaden that base, and extend its applications and its connections John Cantwell 7
  8. 8. Trends in Knowledge Building • The restructuring and intensification of knowledge exchange mechanisms in MNCs are essential for subunits to play a more creative role in knowledge generation within their corporate groups. • A positive association between rising international intra-field intra-MNC knowledge sourcing and local inter-field inter-organizational sourcing shows how the increased complexity of knowledge combinations may be associated with the emergence of more open innovation systems – creative subsidiaries becoming increasingly the initiating nodes of more open network connectivity across boundaries. John Cantwell 8
  9. 9. Dispersion of Knowledge Sources • We can measure two dimensions of dispersion in the structure of knowledge built upon by an MNC subunit – across technological fields and geographical locations. – Technological dispersion is the degree of spread of knowledge that is built upon, across the different technological fields of knowledge sourcing (cited patents by primary field classification); – Geographical dispersion is the breadth of different geographical locations of origin of these knowledge sources (cited patents by inventor location). • Technological diversification is instead defined by the distribution across fields of each subunit’s own innovations (citing patents of the firm originating in the host location). John Cantwell 9
  10. 10. Framework for Xiaoyu Pu’s Dissertation Research Subunit Tech Div. Technological Dispersion Technological Dispersion Geographic Dispersion Geographic Dispersion Knowledge Sourcing Pattern of MNC Subunit GPTGPT ProximityProximity Home Country Sourcing Home Country Sourcing Host Country Sourcing Host Country Sourcing 1 2 3 4 5 John Cantwell 10
  11. 11. Some Findings • Connections 2, 4 and 5: The relationship between subunit technological diversification and knowledge source technological dispersion is a positive one, but the effect is negatively influenced by the subunit’s involvement in GPT fields; and the relationship becomes weaker when host or home country sources are excluded. • Connections 3, 4, and 5: The relationship between subunit technological diversification and knowledge source geographical dispersion is a positive one, but it is negatively influenced by the subunit’s reliance upon inter-regional sourcing. This reflects an association of focused specialization with global knowledge search in the critical domain, while a more diversified effort is connected with local (geographically bounded) sources. • Source: Paper with Xiaoyu Pu on MNC Subunit Knowledge Sourcing – Patterns and Impacts. John Cantwell 11