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By John Cantwell and Elena KosmopoulouJohn Cantwell and Elena KosmopoulouProf John Cantwell and Elena Kosmopoulou


Based on empirical data at an aggregate level it has been argued that the propensity to internationalise corporate technological activity is higher among firms originating from smaller countries and in less research-intensive industries. However, more disaggregated evidence on the patenting of the world’s largest firms suggests a more complex picture. First, the share of foreign-located activity (through outward investment) depends positively upon the technological strength of each national group of firms in an industry, while the share of foreign-owned activity (through inward investment in a host country) may be deterred by the technological competitiveness of indigenous firms. The degree of internationalisation of technological development depends inversely as well on the extent of localised user-producer interaction in innovation in an industry or in the relevant national innovation system. Second, the largest firms increasingly use international research networks as a means of corporate technological diversification. Thus, when technologically leading groups invest in innovation abroad they tend to switch towards the foreign development of complementary an

Topics: Internationalisation, technological development JEL, O33, L23
Year: 2014
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