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Title: International R&D : an application of the integration-responsiveness framework
Author: Johnston, Andrew William.
Awarding Body: University of Paisley
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis investigates coordination of international research and development within the multinational company, a function previously assumed to be centralised. Specifically, it considers the effects of pressures for integration and responsiveness, as well as the nature of research and development activities, on the coordination of international research and development in 135 multinational companies located in the UK. The study reveals that international research and development can indeed be differentiated by the integration-responsiveness (I-R) framework. Four distinct clusters are identified, which correspond to the types of multinational company (MNC) identified by the I-R literature. In addition, these clusters are found to differentiate across a number of alternative variables. The clusters differ according to the extent to which the industry is technologically complex, and the degree to which each cluster understands how customers will use their new products. Additionally, the clusters can be differentiated by the extent to which the headquarters laboratory focuses on development activities as opposed to research. In terms of coordination, the clusters are differentiated by their usage of goal setting to coordinate a range of activities, as well as by their use of liaison personnel to coordinate. Analysis of the data reveals that pressures for integration in international research and development (R&D) are generally high, but that this is not the case for all MNCs. This suggests, contrary to the majority of studies in the field of international R&D, that not all MNCs need extensive coordination of their international R&D activities, and that surprisingly, strong pressures for local responsiveness remain for some MNCsBeyond establishing the appropriateness of the Integration-Responsiveness framework to the study of international R&D, a key finding of this study is that at present international R&D is characterised by a lack of fit with the strategic requirements of pressures for integration and responsiveness. Specifically, this research indicates that those MNCs in the transnational quadrant of the grid need to find ways of improving their knowledge of local markets, and increase their understanding of how their new products will be used in individual markets
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Multinational companies Management International trade