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date: 28 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines historical and recent trends in the internationalization of research and development (R&D) in multinational corporations (MNCs). It discusses the motives and driving forces that lead firms to perform R&D in foreign locations and the managerial and policy issues associated with geographically dispersed and organizationally decentralized R&D. A simple typology of foreign R&D units is presented, emphasizing that the opportunities and challenges vary with the nature of their tasks, which range from technical support and local adaptation of products and processes to product development and, in some cases, applied and basic research. Managerial systems, procedures, and practices for coordination and control of internationally decentralized R&D are identified, along with mechanisms promoting knowledge management, problem solving, and innovation.

Keywords: R&D internationalization, multinational corporations, foreign R&D units, knowledge management, R&D coordination

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