موقعیت منطقه ای شعبه های شرکت های چندملیتی و سهم توسعه اقتصادی: شواهد از انگلستان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|6955||2009||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 44, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 180–191
The regional location of multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiaries in their host country and their associated entrepreneurial output and networking activities are likely to affect their economic development contribution, measured in terms of technology and management know-how transfers; enhancement of innovativeness of other firms; and company spinoffs. This theme has considerable research and public policy value. We investigate the issue drawing from a large-scale study of 264 MNC subsidiaries based in the UK. The findings show that activities in developed regions are associated with higher economic development contribution than those in less developed regions. Moreover, entrepreneurial output and networking with partners external to the MNC system positively affect economic development contribution. Key implications of this study are that entrepreneurship critically influences economic development contribution, underlying the importance of the MNC subsidiary research stream; and that the policy practice of supply-side measures fostering entrepreneurial output and embeddedness in local networks seems to be appropriate to pursue.
In this article, we investigate the effect of the regional location, in which subsidiaries of multinational corporations (MNCs) are based, on economic development contribution in their host country. Towards this goal, we provide empirical evidence from a large-scale study in the UK, distinguishing between developed and less developed regions in this advanced economy. Moreover, we explore the effects of entrepreneurial output and networking of MNC subsidiaries on contribution to economic development. The examination of entrepreneurial output is essential in as much as locations in a developed or less developed area can be connected to different entrepreneurial and innovative activities. Likewise the examination of networking is required since these activities are implemented by MNC subsidiaries through embeddedness in organisational networks of dissimilar regions. Therefore, our research objective is to investigate to what extent the location of MNC subsidiaries in a region, and their associated entrepreneurial outputs and networking activities, matter for economic development contribution to the host country. The economic development contribution in this article is defined as comprising technology and management know-how transfers; enhancement of innovativeness of other firms; and company spinoffs in the country. These long-run dynamic contributions of MNC subsidiary activities are contrasted with short-run static benefits, the latter referring to capital formation, employment, trade and the balance of payments (Dunning & Lundan, 2008). Our study is important for research and public policy reasons. In terms of research, previous studies mostly focus on the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) across countries (Barrell & Pain, 1999; Cantwell & Piscitello, 2005; Driffield, 2001 and Fors, 1996; Frenkel, Shefer, Koschatzky, & Walter, 2001; Kumar, 1996; Odagiri & Yasuda, 1996) rather than across regions. Scholars have highlighted the significance of the region within the country (Buckley & Ghauri, 2004; Krugman, 1990, Nijkamp, 2003, Porter, 1990 and Storper, 1992), suggesting that regions are increasingly becoming important milieus for competitive-enhancing FDI activities (Dunning, 2000, Porter, 1996 and Scott, 1998). In a related vein, other researchers (Meyers, 2004; Sargent & Matthews, 2006; Wells, 1998) support the view that international business study has been relatively uninterested in analysing the contribution made by MNCs to economic development in their host countries. We seek to provide empirical evidence to fill this gap. Our study is additionally valuable for research purposes since it builds on the idea of the ‘entrepreneurial subsidiary’ recently proposed by Boojihawon, Dimitratos, and Young (2007). This idea expands the notions of ‘developmental’ and ‘creative’ subsidiaries put forward by Young, Hood, and Peters (1994) and Pearce (1999), respectively. These two last terms describe those subsidiaries that access local resources and knowledge through dynamic linkages, which is a process resulting in beneficial implications for the host country economy. The idea of the entrepreneurial subsidiary also extends Birkinshaw, 1997, Birkinshaw, 1999 and Birkinshaw, 2000 line of thinking on subsidiary initiative. Initiative concerns autonomous activities, risk-taking and proactive behaviour, and the use of resources beyond the control of the MNC subsidiary. Consequently, we posit that entrepreneurial subsidiaries are likely to act as independent actors in the MNC system; form embedded networks with other stakeholders; and contribute to economic development through spillover effects (cf. Birkinshaw & Hood, 1998; Blomström & Kokko, 1998; Graham & Krugman, 1995; Lall, 1980 and Young et al., 1994), thereby impacting positively on the local country environment. In emphasising the subsidiary unit of analysis, we seek to fill a void in the literature that has so far examined the effect of MNC activities in the host country largely at the aggregate MNC level (Akbar & McBride, 2004; Cantwell & Piscitello, 2005; Dunning & Lundan, 2008). The present investigation is also important for public policy. The gap in economic prosperity between developed and less developed regions has been a vital issue on the UK public policy agenda since the middle years of the 20th century (Ashcroft, 2002). Other countries, such as Germany or Ireland, face similar challenges as regards their public policy priorities linked to inward FDI (e.g. Alecke, Alsleben, Scharr, & Untiedt, 2006; Ruane & Uğur, 2005). In general, the value of the economic contribution of MNC subsidiaries in different regions of the host country has been debated (Christodoulou, 1996; Siler, Wang, & Liu, 2003; Turok, 1993; Young, Hood, & Dunlop, 1988). In this article, we provide recent evidence that compares subsidiary contributions to economic development between developed and less developed areas in the advanced UK economy. In relation to the UK, the British government, facing a deteriorating regional problem in the late 1950s, offered differential regional policy incentives (grants for capital investment) to induce FDI in the ‘assisted’ (poorer and peripheral) areas of the north and west of the country. Although these incentives proved particularly attractive to MNCs, their contribution to economic development was much debated (e.g. Hood, Peat, Peters, & Young, 2002; Young et al., 1994), leading Firn (1975) to famously describe less developed regions as ‘branch plant economies’. As Brown (2002: p. 130) noted, ‘[This] term was used to depict a regional economy which was highly dependent upon truncated manufacturing operations of multinational enterprises with few decision-making powers, bringing little in the way of self-sustaining economic development to the host economy’. Corroborating this point, Ashcroft and Love (1993) cast doubts on whether spillover benefits from MNC subsidiary activities occurred to any significant degree in British peripheral regions. Nevertheless, current policy thinking in the UK (and other countries) being applied since the early 1990s focuses upon ‘the importance of supply-side drivers to economic development and the key roles played by entrepreneurship, skills, new technology and appropriate infrastructure in stimulating output growth’ (Ashcroft, 2002: p. 22). The role of entrepreneurship in the enhancement of economic development has been confirmed in the literature (Acs & Armington, 2004; Acs & Storey, 2004; Audretsch & Keilbach, 2004; Braunerhjelm & Borgman, 2004; Van Stel & Storey, 2004). On this point, Schumpeter (1934) argued that entrepreneurship and innovation are the most critical factors for productivity, employment and economic prosperity. Recently, Audretsch, Keilbach, and Lehmann (2006) have also provided evidence in support of knowledge spillovers from entrepreneurship, linking entrepreneurship to economic growth and performance. Entrepreneurship and innovation additionally foster economic growth at a regional level (Suarez-Villa, 1993). In this article, along the lines of current policy practice, we seek to explore to what degree entrepreneurial and network activities implemented by MNC subsidiaries do indeed contribute to economic development. This article is organised as follows. Section 2 provides an overview on empirical studies elaborating on the notions of regional location, entrepreneurial output and networking. In doing so, it presents the hypotheses that guide the conduct of this research. Section 3 presents the methodological aspects concerning sampling, data collection and measurement of variables. Section 4 elaborates on the statistical analysis and discusses the findings of the study. The concluding section provides a summary of the article; and explores research and public policy implications.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Summary In our article, we sought to examine the association between location, entrepreneurial output, internal and external networking of MNC subsidiaries, on the one hand; and their contribution to economic development, on the other. Towards this direction we provided evidence from 264 subsidiaries operating in the UK. Our evidence suggests that the economic contribution of MNC subsidiary activities in developed regions is higher than that in less developed regions; and that entrepreneurial output and external networking positively contribute to economic development. These findings have considerable implications for research and public policy. 5.2. Research implications With regard to research, the current study examines the theme of MNC contribution to economic development focusing on the subsidiary. In line with the MNC subsidiary research stream (Birkinshaw, 2000; Birkinshaw and Hood, 2000 and Birkinshaw and Hood, 2001), we posit that the subsidiary is the principal organisation that has to be investigated when examining MNC activities in the host country. This approach complements previous studies in the literature that investigate the effect of MNC activities in the host country at the overall MNC macro-level (Akbar & McBride, 2004; Cantwell & Piscitello, 2005; Dunning & Lundan, 2008); or, examine transfers from the headquarters to its subsidiaries (Cui, Griffith, Cavusgil, & Dabie, 2006; Kaufmann & Roessing, 2005; Siler et al., 2003; Wang, Tong, & Koh, 2004). The importance of the MNC subsidiary as the unit of analysis derives from the fact that the subsidiary formulates and/or implements MNC strategy; generates entrepreneurial outputs and becomes an indigenous stakeholder in the economy through embeddedness in networks with local organisations; and thus, potentially contributes to economic development of the host country. In line with this rationale, we measure the key constructs of this study through perceived opinions of MNC subsidiary managers. In contrast to previous research, entrepreneurial output in particular was assessed through management perceptions rather than objective data such as number of patents applied (Acs, Anselin, & Vargac, 2002; Breschi, 2000; Cantwell & Iammarino, 2000; Frost, 2001); or, R&D expenditures (Athreye & Keeble, 2002; Driffield & Munday, 2000; Frenkel et al., 2001; Zander, 1999). The possible problems with these objective measures are that not all innovations are patented; not all patents are commercialised; and that R&D expenditures are an input rather than outcome measure of entrepreneurial output. Therefore, by assessing perceptive indicators of strategic and operational entrepreneurship in the current research, we complement the literature that has almost exclusively relied on objective data, thereby failing to incorporate ‘soft’ measures of entrepreneurial output.6 A related implication of this study to research is that it highlights the conclusive importance of MNC subsidiary entrepreneurship for economic development contribution. This evidence builds on that presented by Birkinshaw, 1997, Birkinshaw, 1999 and Birkinshaw, 2000 on subsidiary initiative. We extend this line of argumentation and contribute to the emerging viewpoint of the entrepreneurial subsidiary, given that the notion of initiative is too narrow to address the entire theme of subsidiary entrepreneurship (Birkinshaw, Hood, & Young, 2005; Boojihawon et al., 2007). There seems to be a clear gap in the subsidiary-focused type of research in terms of developing a more holistic measurement of MNC subsidiary entrepreneurship (Birkinshaw, 1997, Dess et al., 2003 and Wright, 1999). We add to this literature through offering a conceptualisation and measurement of subsidiary entrepreneurial output that effectively can be the end-result of initiative. 5.3. Public policy implications Our study has important policy implications. The evidence suggests that MNC activity in developed regions of the UK is associated with superior economic development contribution than that in less developed areas. Interestingly, this association is diluted (albeit to a minor extent) when the manufacturing value-added consideration is brought into the picture. As the evidence in Table 3 shows, the existence of branch plant subsidiaries with solely manufacturing value-added activities reduces the economic development contribution of MNC subsidiaries in both developed and less developed regions. The higher incidence of manufacturing branch plants in less developed areas, which is associated with the UK regional incentive regime (established in the late 1950s, and involving capital grants to foreign investors), may largely be connected to the lower economic development contribution of MNC subsidiaries in those areas of the country. The evidence of the present research implies that the economic benefits in less developed regions are most likely short-run and static in nature because they are not allied to spillovers and company spinoffs, a statement with which recent literature would also concur (Dunning & Lundan, 2008; Tavares & Young, 2005b). Additionally, the evidence from the current study suggests that entrepreneurial output positively affects economic development contribution. Relating the discussion of policy measures to the theme of entrepreneurial activity, it is doubtful if it is possible to attract entrepreneurial subsidiaries ab initio. Nevertheless, it may be feasible to target certain types of parent MNC characteristics, namely firms with a proven record of implementing entrepreneurial and innovative projects (cf. Alecke et al., 2006 and Bode, 2004). Moreover, more realistically, policy measures may be introduced to stimulate entrepreneurship at a subsidiary level. Such measures could include support for innovation programmes, and entrepreneurship training for both management and employees. The evidence of this article also indicates that MNC subsidiary external networking positively contributes to economic development. The policy implication stemming from this finding is that governments should promote linkages with local partners including customers, suppliers, distributors, competitors, state organisations and academic institutions to enhance the embeddedness of the subsidiary in the host country (Tavares & Teixeira, 2006; Tavares & Young, 2005a). Furthermore, the findings in this article show that current supply-side measures focusing on the spillover, network and cluster strategies from MNC subsidiary activities are critically significant. This evidence is in agreement with that presented by Tavares and Teixeira (2006). In a nutshell, the UK represents an interesting country context for research on the economic development contribution of the MNC subsidiary because of the historic (and continuing) importance attached to inward FDI in industrial development; and the policy focus on attracting FDI to the less developed (northern and western) regions of the country. While evidence from other countries should be sought to generalise the findings of the present study, the UK experience likely provides lessons for other economies. Although developing and transition economies are very heterogeneous, regional problems within some countries are even greater than those in developed nations because of isolation linked to poor transport and infrastructure, as well as poverty, low education and skills. Policy approaches differ and have had mixed success. For example, in China huge sums are now being invested in infrastructure, energy, environment and resources projects in the disadvantaged western regions, but the hopes for spillover effects to these western regions from FDI in the coastal growth centres have yet to materialise (Taube & Ügütçü, 2002; Zheng & Chen, 2007). In Poland, the regions in the east of the country continue to suffer from lower investment, lower income and higher unemployment compared to the areas around the capital city; and the establishment of 14 ‘special economic zones’ does not appear to have reduced regional economic imbalances (Churski, 2005). By contrast, in Brazil, the Industrial Pole of Manaus, established in the Amazon Rain Forest in 1967, was initially criticised as a screw-driver industrial site; yet recent research (Figueiredo, 2006) has indicated that the technological capability of MNC subsidiaries and local firms has constantly been upgraded to undertake diverse types of innovative activity. The policy lessons from the current study refer to the importance of entrepreneurial supply-side policy measures for economic development contribution; and to a commitment to continuously focus on enhancing subsidiary value-added activities and encouraging spillovers through networking and local embeddedness. There is an important future research agenda to test such findings in the context of the above countries and other developing and transition economies, recognising the significance of entrepreneurship and networking for economic growth.