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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Business Review, , In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 21 August 2013
This paper deals with the determinants of absorptive capacity from foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers. We study how firm behavior, capabilities, and structure drive absorptive capacity such as research and development (R&D) activities and expenditures, R&D results, internal organization of innovation, external relationships of innovation, human-capital quality, family management, business complexity, and market concentration. Our results enhance and complement previous evidence of the determinants of absorptive capacity, particularly with different approaches to innovative activities as mediators of the capability.
Spillovers within an industry are improvements in productivity that local firms learn from foreign companies operating in the same sector. Similarly, spillovers from foreign direct investment (FDI) arise from transactions outside specific markets, in which resources – and particularly knowledge – spread without any contractual relationship (Meyer, 2004). Spillovers in developing countries are widely studied; however, empirical evidence for developed countries is less common. The capacity for absorption refers to a company's ability to apply knowledge from competitors via these spillovers (Cohen & Levinthal, 1989). This paper analyzes the capabilities to absorb spillovers from FDI, measured as technical progress in Spanish manufacturing firms. We focus on how firm behavior, capabilities, and structure drive this absorptive capacity of FDI. However, doing so requires asking why a company's resources and capabilities affect the absorptive capacity of FDI in the first place. The approach of resources and capabilities proposes that valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable, and imperfectly substitutable resources are necessary, making them a key source of competitive advantage ( Barney, 1991). This study furthers the understanding of the dynamic capabilities of a firm (Teece, Pisano, & Shuen, 1997), particularly regarding the factors that limit or enhance the ability to absorb and capitalize on knowledge spillover. Firm-specific idiosyncrasies, distinctive institutional and industrial environment drive foreign investments (Wang, Hong, Kafouros, & Boateng, 2012b), and with this in mind, we focus on absorptive capacity, which is a resource, a capability, and a good source of sustainable competitive advantage over time (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990). In Spain, research evaluates the effect of FDI and R&D on technical progress at the industrial level (Rosell-Martínez & Sánchez-Sellero, 2012). Barrios, Dimelis, Louri, and Strobl (2004) also use the survey of business strategies (ESEE) to study the absorptive capacity of spillovers from FDI in Spanish manufacturing firms. Alvarez and Molero (2005) use ESEE to identify horizontal spillovers from FDI in Spanish manufacturing industries according to their high, medium, or low technological content. Similar to Barrios et al. (2004), Alvarez and Molero (2005), and Rodríguez and Pallas (2008), we use the ESEE in relation to FDI but extend its application to the factors determining the behavior, the capabilities and the structure of the firm which are driving absorptive capacity, such as research and development (R&D) activities, results of R&D, internal organization of innovation, external relationships of innovation, quality of human capital, family involvement, complexity of the business, and market concentration. Our conclusions are relevant for managers and policy makers. In particular, if a firm knows what determines its capacity to absorb FDI spillovers, then firm managers can make better decisions regarding efficiency and performance improvement. Policy makers can also identify which industries will benefit most from FDI spillovers and adjust their fiscal incentives accordingly. The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 looks at the capacity for absorbing FDI in the strict sense; Section 3 investigates the factors in the capacity to absorb FDI; Section 4 presents the models, data, and methodology for explaining the factors in the capacity to absorb FDI. The final section concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Absorptive capacity of spillovers from FDI is a source of technical progress, and our results align with previous studies. Because we consider the determinants that affect technical progress and its relationship with absorptive capacity from FDI, we update and extend the literature to the factors determining the firm behavior, capabilities, and structures that drive absorptive capacity from FDI in Spanish manufacturing firms. We estimate a model on the basis of a production function to explain the factors determining absorptive capacity from FDI and the effect of each of these factors individually on added value (output). We use GMM estimation for panel data at the firm level in 20 industries over 13 years. We add to the Barrios and Strobl (2002) proposed production function, which includes the effects of foreign capital and foreign presence on added value (output). We add the effects of R&D activities and expenditures, R&D results, the internal organization of innovation, the external links for innovation, the quality of human capital, family management, and the complexity of businesses and market concentration. In turn, our model considers each of these items in light of foreign presence. These combinations determine absorptive capacity from FDI. Specifically, we find that R&D activities boost the generation of new knowledge and absorptive capacity from FDI. Internal R&D activities have the most positive effect; externalized activities have a negative impact. This explains the decision to outsource R&D for minor innovations that require nonspecific investments; it makes only a minor contribution to the absorptive capacity of the firm. We also find a negative link between public funding and absorptive capacity from FDI. This result is consistent with the fact that public financing of R&D is less effective than private funding (Griliches, 1986), and it supports the notion that the companies that manage to find private financial resources are more capable of absorbing spillovers from FDI. Additionally, we find a negative relationship between family management and absorptive capacity. This is why companies run by people who are not members of the same family are better at absorbing the spillovers from FDI. Other factors determining absorptive capacity from FDI are complexity and production-process innovations. Complex and innovative production processes makes more and better tools available for absorbing the spillovers from FDI. This is because the firms implementing FDI usually have more complex, innovative production processes than local companies, which helps the absorb more from similarly complex, innovative foreign firms. We confirm that a firm with a complex, innovative production processes has capacity for apply and produce knowledge. So, this capacity shows up in the absorptive capacity of external knowledge from FDI. Despite these significant contributions to the literature, several constraints should be taken into account. First, it is possible to include the relationship between absorptive capacity from FDI and subcontracted/outsourced manufacturing. Outsourcing may affect absorptive capacity depending on, for example, the type of activity or the communication flow. Second, this study can be extended to include geographical location of foreign firms relative to local companies. Distance determinants such as culture, physical location, or institutional differences may influence absorptive capacity from FDI. Third, further research could incorporate the vertical relationships of industries and businesses (that is, with suppliers and clients). This relationship may influence absorptive capacity from FDI depending on the type of vendor agreement, product supplied, or negotiation power.