Rajneesh Narula and Antonello Zanfei
Economic globalization implies a growing interdependence of locations and economic units across countries and regions. Technological change and multinational enterprises (MNEs) are among the primary driving forces of this process. This article attempts to evaluate the changing extent and importance of MNEs as conduits for cross-border knowledge flows. MNEs affect the development and diffusion of innovations across national borders through a number of mechanisms, among which FDI (through which MNEs acquire existing assets abroad or set-up new wholly or majority owned activities in foreign markets) is only one. International knowledge flows also move through trade, licensing, cross-patenting activities, and international technological and scientific collaborations. These other modalities involve a wide variety of economic actors, but the MNE occupies a central role among these actors. This article emphasizes the MNE's multifaceted role in the more general process of the globalization of innovation.
Keld Laursen and Nicolai J. Foss
This article surveys, organizes, and critically discusses the literature on the role of human resource practices for explaining innovation outcomes. We specifically put an emphasis on what is often called ‘new’ or ‘modern’ HRM practices—practices that imply high levels of delegation of decisions, extensive lateral and vertical communication channels, and the use of reward systems. We discuss how individual practices influence innovation, and how the clustering of specific practices matters for innovation, while drawing attention to the notion of complementarities between practices. Moreover, we discuss various possible moderators and mediators of the HRM/innovation link, such as the type of knowledge involved (tacit/codified), knowledge sharing, social capital, and network effects. We argue—despite substantial progress made in the pertinent literature—that the precise causal mechanisms underlying the HRM/innovation links remain poorly understood. Against this backdrop we suggest avenues for future research.
This chapter examines the modern development of innovation in China at three different levels: country, industry, and firm. The country-level analysis focuses on the dynamics of China’s innovation policy framework and the evolution of the country’s national innovation system; the industry-level analysis investigates the achievements and failures of China’s industry policies in recent decades; and the firm-level analysis explores different innovation management practices in three types of enterprises (state-owned enterprises, entrepreneurial firms, and multinationals) in China. Utilizing a cultural framework (values, institutions, and cognitions), the chapter explains why China has lagged behind the West in its science, technology, and innovation since the seventeenth century (Needham’s Grand Question) and points out that to move forward China needs not only to strengthen its innovation infrastructure, such as establishing a market-based financial system, enhancing its market mechanism, and improving its educational system, but also to develop a more global mentality in innovation, such as integrating China into the global ecosystem of innovation by de-emphasizing the national origins of scientific discoveries and following global rules.
This chapter examines effective innovation management in Japan. Despite Japan’s mixed economic performance over recent times, companies in a number of important sectors remain highly innovative. The chapter explores the capabilities firms have developed to enable them to innovate effectively. It applies an evolutionary framework of design-based comparative advantage, which links capabilities, product architecture, and performance. Special attention is paid to Japan’s automotive industry.
This chapter examines the concept of sustainable innovation management as it applies to business enterprises. It suggests that the problem of innovation management is deeply related to the way in which a firm manages its external relationships and that the analysis of innovation management needs to be seen as being embedded in a network of relationships related to regulatory and social governance, value chains and the socio-technical regimes within which it is embedded. It also argues that sustainable innovation is linked to corporate strategy and that sustainable system innovation needs to be seen as a co-evolutionary process involving not only innovative firms but also a broader context of institutions, infrastructures, and consumer practices.