سرمایه گذاری مستقیم خارجی چین در تحقیق و توسعه در اروپا: مدل جدید از تحقیق و توسعه بین المللی؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9676||2012||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Management Journal , Volume 30, Issue 3, June 2012, Pages 189–203
Along with their mounting economic might, emerging economies are becoming the object of ever closer analytical attention. Yet the phenomenon of international research and development (R&D) from multinationals headquartered there still remains neglected. The current study analyzes Chinese companies’ investment in R&D in Europe, focusing on three different aspects: technology exploration vs. technology exploitation as investment motive; locational strategies for R&D investments; and the dynamics of motives of overseas R&D units. The analysis proceeds to draw out differences between the R&D internationalization process of multinationals from developed economies and those from emerging economies. Evidence of Chinese R&D internationalization is provided through analyses of five cases of international R&D units set up by Chinese companies in Europe: ZTE Corporation, JAC Motors, Chang’an Motors, Hisense Group, and Hisun Group. Based on the analyses we find that the Chinese R&D units represent important differences from the conventional R&D internationalization process of developed-country multinationals. These differences come about when R&D internationalization is driven predominantly by learning rather than technological innovation, as the extant literature tends to assume. Chinese R&D units appear to evolve often from a strategy of pure technology exploration, over fusion of foreign technologies with R&D activities back home, into one of technology exploitation in foreign locations.
In a globalized economy, the knowledge creation processes of companies have become increasingly internationalized. The technological learning and internationalization of the latecomer firms in Asia were explored in depth at the end of the 20th century (Hobday, 1995, Kim, 1997 and Sachwald, 2001). Since the 21st century, the globalization of Chinese companies has gained academic attention (Child and Rodrigues, 2005, Deng, 2007, Fan, 2006, Gao et al., 2007, Hong and Sun, 2006, Taylor, 2002 and Wong, 1999). In the past decades, foreign direct investment (FDI) into developing and transition countries has increased, and China has become the most attractive host country for FDI (UNCTAD, 2005). On the one hand, China has worked hard to attract foreign investment in R&D to enhance the technology capabilities of Chinese companies (Wu & Callahan, 2005). On the other hand, along with their increasing involvement in global competition, Chinese Multinational Corporations (MNCs) have also begun to expand overseas, especially since the mid-1990s (Tung, 2005). Chinese globalization owes much to the “going out” (Zouchuqu) strategy enforced by the Chinese government since 1999,which encourages Chinese science and technology (S&T)-intensive companies, in particular the successful ones, to go global for both technology upgrading and brand building (OECD, 2008). Chinese companies have attained a key role within innovation in China, in the sense that they already accounted for 70.4% of the R&D funding source in China in 2007.1 In recent years, both the Chinese government and Chinese academia have become more concerned about how to cultivate the R&D capabilities of domestic Chinese companies and compete with global MNCs. In 2006, the Chinese government implemented the National Medium and Long-Term Science and Technology Plan (2006–2020) as its central S&T policy. The policy emphasizes building up an innovation-oriented country and an enterprise-centered national technology innovation system by keeping to the path of “indigenous innovation with Chinese characteristics” (OECD, 2008). Meanwhile, Chinese scholars have also opened up in-depth discussion on the technology strategies of Chinese domestic companies (Gao et al., 2007, Wu and Callahan, 2005 and Xie and White, 2006). Recent studies have begun to show intense interest in the global technological learning and innovation activities of Chinese companies. Scholars adopt an “asset-seeking” perspective to emphasize that Chinese outward FDI serves the purpose of building competitive competence (Deng, 2007). Some of the studies adopt the “latecomer catch-up process” perspective to determine how Chinese companies can cultivate their innovation capabilities (Child and Rodrigues, 2005, Fan, 2006 and Gao et al., 2007). Moreover, there are also some scholars who specifically focus on the contribution of overseas innovative activities to Chinese competitive advantage (Chen and Tong, 2003 and von Zedtwitz, 2005). However, most of the studies analyze international R&D activities as part of Chinese outward FDI and adopt a macro-perspective to investigate this emerging phenomenon. Up to now, we know surprisingly little about how Chinese MNCs deal with their much stronger counterparts in industrialized countries. What is missing in academia, and what we think is relevant, is an explorative discussion on Chinese R&D internationalization with first-hand evidence from Chinese overseas R&D subsidiaries in developed countries. This paper attempts to understand the motives that impel Chinese MNCs to conduct international R&D activities in a highly competitive environment such as Europe. We explore the evolution of motives, and we ask whether the maturation models that helped us understanding the international evolution of multinationals headquartered in industrialized countries work also when considering the behavior of Chinese MNCs abroad. This paper focuses on the following research questions: (1) To what extent have Chinese companies set up R&D units in Europe? (2) Why do Chinese MNCs establish Chinese R&D units in Europe and how do their motives dynamically evolve? (3) Are the R&D motives of Chinese companies different from those of MNCs from developed countries? The paper is organized into six sections. The following (second) section looks at the literature on R&D internationalization; the third section discusses the processes of internationalization and innovation of Chinese companies; the fourth section introduces the research methodology and data collection process; the fifth section analyzes our case studies; and the sixth and final section concludes our study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
International R&D from emerging countries is a new phenomenon and it has not yet attracted much attention from scholars. As the modes of a growing domestic market change, and as home-base technology competences evolve, we bring forward new evidence of the important, unique, and dynamic role of R&D units abroad. The international business literature can only partially explain this evidence. Our findings are based only on five cases of large Chinese MNCs, present at the time of observation in Europe. It would not be advisable to infer from such a limited sample any conclusion on an emerging trend or a pivotal change of strategy of R&D by MNCs headquartered in Emerging Countries. Still, the companies we have taken in consideration were representative of large corporate investment in Europe, during the last 10 years and hence their example is a relevant indication of a new approach of R&D internationalization, which deviates from the typical trajectory followed by MNCs from developed countries (see Table 3) Where the theoretical implications of our study are concerned, there is a body of literature investigating FDI in R&D from developed countries. We observe the phenomenon of R&D internationalization from emerging countries to developed countries, and in particular we focus on the motives of Chinese FDI in R&D in Europe. Our multi-case study shows that technology exploration is still the most important motive driving Chinese companies to expand their R&D activities into developed countries. Chinese companies take the initiative to go overseas and learn from their stronger counterparts in developed countries. Overseas Chinese R&D units emphasize their role as knowledge-seekers and learners/absorbers for new and relevant technology. Along with technological competence upgrading, Chinese R&D units gradually fit into the local innovation system and act as knowledge contributors/creators. For Chinese companies with a relatively strong technological home-base and for the ones catching up through technological learning, entering the markets of developed countries may be a secondary yet important motive for overseas R&D expansion to advanced countries. Indeed, our cases support this finding because Chinese R&D units in Europe also engage in technology-exploitation activities and participate in local market competition. From all this, we propose a maturation process for Chinese R&D internationalization, whose motive evolves from pure technology-seeking to home-base exploration and finally to home-base exploitation. This evolution is the opposite tothe common path described in studies on FDI in R&D from developed countries. From a RBV perspective we might argue that, as companies seek for technology and market resources abroad, and as they still lack certain complementary resources and assets, they are exposed to liability of expansion, liability of newness and liability of foreignness (Cuervo-Cazurra, Maloney, & Manrakhan, 2007). This in turn leads them to develop new resources and complementary assets which are incorporated into their maturation trajectory. Our evidence mainly addresses liability of expansion: as Chinese companies lack significant experience when investing in developed countries, and face difficulties when dealing with additional complexities in communication and coordination among headquarters and overseas units. Maturation of complementary competences to support R&D investment abroad had been a phenomenon heavily investigated by internationalization literature (Birkinshaw and Hood, 1998 and Di Minin and Bianchi, 2011), however in the case of Chinese companies in Europe, it might be possible to argue that we are experiencing a Chinese-specific issue at play, i.e., the maturation of a different set of complementary resource used to operate at large scale in a new country, which leads these companies to re-focus of R&D strategies abroad, in a way which deviates from what internationalization theories would have predicted once a company has maturated higher managerial and technological skills. Still there are limits to be considered when generalizing findings discussed here. Our paper has focused exclusively on FDI, which is only one of the possible strategies that a company can deploy to internationalize its technological base. Further research should attempt to consider non-equity based modes of internationalization of Chinese companies, as evidence is suggesting this is a key driver for internationalization of the country’s knowledge base. With respect to managerial implications of our study, we open a window for both scholars and practitioners to observe the overlooked phenomenon of Chinese R&D presence in Europe, and we explore reasons that spur Chinese companies to engage in R&D-related activities in advanced regions. Our evidence shows that Chinese companies have made their first move in Europe for advanced knowledge sourcing. Technology-seeking remains an important reason for Chinese companies to be in Europe, but it is no longer the only one and maybe not even the main one to expand into Europe. European managers might therefore face new competitive threats as well as opportunities of collaborations as Chinese overseas R&D units no longer remain outside the European innovation system as mere technology monitoring centers. They now have the potential to be active participants in R&D projects that create new knowledge and exploit local markets. It is important for European players to respond to Chinese technological entries, and seek cooperation opportunities based on reciprocity and mutual benefit, as these foreign subsidiaries evolve into companies guided by both market and technology motivations. How to engage rather than insulate Chinese presence in Europe, and make the most out of their presence in Europe is therefore a strategic question on the agenda of European managers. Moreover, a progressive insulation of Chinese presence in Europe should be a concern also for policy makers, both at national and regional governments. Some of the Chinese interviewees indicated that support from the Chinese government and preferential policies for international R&D is an external impetus, but maintained that political factors from China play a secondary role in their decisionson R&D expansion. At present, Chinese outward FDI mostly flows to developing countries such as those in Asia and Latin America (OECD, 2008). We also noted that the Chinese interviewees never mentioned the support and incentives they receive from local European governments as factors leading them to invest in a specific region or preferring a country where to locate. Such indifference may signal a parallel lack of interest and awareness on behalf of European policy makers. We believe that the lack of a strategy for dealing with and responding to Chinese R&D investment in Europe and its evolution is undesirable, and potentially harmful for the EU’s own innovation system. What might be worth considering as an area of intervention from the perspective of European legislators is the evolution and maturation rather than the entry of Chinese R&D investment in Europe, which our findings suggest is not following the same path that European companies abroad followed. Mapping this uncharted territory might well be the first step to take.