Patterns of local R&D cooperation in foreign subsidiaries. The case of food and drink multinationals operating in Spain

Ruth Rama
Instituto de Economía, Geografía y Demografía del CSIC
Thursday, 17 July 2014 - 12:30

   We performed econometric analysis to identify some of the main features of food and beverages foreign subsidiaries engaged in local R&D cooperation.  The contribution of foreign subsidiaries to local networks of innovators seems to be financial and, probably, commercial rather than technical.  Foreign subsidiaries which display high R&D intensity, a large number of R&D employees or a large share of new products in turnover are not necessarily engaged in local R&D networks.  Foreign subsidiaries facing fewer obstacles to innovate than the average F&B firm seem more able to build those networks, probably because they are more attractive to local partners.  This is especially true for those foreign subsidiaries facing fewer financial and economic obstacles to innovate than average.  This finding seems to support the view of the managerial theory on networks, rather than that of the Resource Based View of the firm, which predicts that companies attempt to solve their difficulties by establishing cooperative relationships. Results suggest a trade-off between multinational embeddedness and local embeddednes of the food and beverages subsidiaries. The size or export activities of foreign subsidiaries were not significantly associated to their involvement in local cooperation for innovation.   


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