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Multilateral transfer of technological knowledge in MNEs: a study based on IC design MNEs, 2001-2008

Ho, Y.-C. (2016) Multilateral transfer of technological knowledge in MNEs: a study based on IC design MNEs, 2001-2008. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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This thesis examines the theoretical background of multilateral knowledge transfer and synthesizes two lines of thinking on the exploitation of multinationality and the contributory role of subsidiaries. Scholars have devoted decades unpacking the mechanisms and dynamics of the creation, transfer and integration of subsidiary knowledge. As the phenomenon is decentralized and multilateral in nature, it often poses a dilemma for MNE managers due to the promising yet conflicting positions of knowledge-creating subsidiaries in local external networks and the corporate internal network. Existing studies generally acknowledge the challenges but tend to accentuate the creative potentials and downplay the costs of maintaining the delicate cross-level interdependencies involved. This thesis reviews the histories and public records of 28 world-leading IC design MNEs and delineates the cross-level interdependencies and multilateral knowledge transfer between the headquarters, knowledge-creating subsidiaries and external knowledge sources in host countries. Incorporating company annual reports, news archives and patenting records, this comprehensive investigation of geographical, industrial and temporal dimensions of inter- and intra-firm knowledge flows reveals the diverse knowledge sources and dynamics of the modern semiconductor industry. The findings also provide insights into the relationships between the heterarchical structure, mandated and entrepreneurial subsidiary knowledge creation and intra-firm cognitive gaps. Finally, the thesis theorizes how MNEs may use intra-firm R&D collaborations to establish incidental interdependencies between members of the MNE corporate network and implement internal entrepreneurship

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Spadavecchia, A. and Pearce, R.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School
ID Code:68438


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