International R&D Collaboration in High Tech: The Challenges of Jet Fighter Development Partnerships in Emerging Economies

International R&D Collaboration in High Tech: The Challenges of Jet Fighter Development Partnerships in Emerging Economies

Solmaz Filiz Karabag (Linkoping University, Sweden) and Christian Berggren (Linkoping University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0135-0.ch019


This chapter seeks the answers to the following research question: Which are the challenges related to high tech R&D collaboration involving firms both from established and emerging economies? To answer this question, the Turkish jet fighter program is used as a case study. The study shows the chances to succeed are highly uncertain in this sector dominated by USA. Although Turkey acquired some level of R&D capability in previous defense R&D programs, the complexity of jet fighter development poses new challenges. Previous experiences indicate that technical capabilities are not sufficient, equally important is the formation of management capabilities. During the pre-development (concept) phase, Turkey chose to collaborate with Swedish Saab. The chapter discusses several challenges in this type of collaboration for a full-scale jet fighter development program. These challenges concern intra- as well as inter-organizational management, the organization of the technical development projects, and the design of appropriate industry governance structures.
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Main Focus Of The Chapter

The focus of this chapter is twofold, which is reflected in the following research questions:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Defense Industry: Public organization and private firms involved in research, development, production, and service of military materiel, equipment and facilities.

R&D Collaboration: Work jointly with others or together in an intellectual and research and development endeavour.

Technological Partnership: An arrangement where parties, known as partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual technological interests.

Collaboration: A temporary social arrangement in which two or more social actors work together to achieve a goal. Collaboration require the transmutation of materials, ideas, and/or social relations to achieve that end.

Managerial Capability: A managerial capability refers to the management capacities, expertise, and processes in the custody of firms that are drawn to execute programs and activities to achieve superior performance. In many cases inter-organization management skills is also counted as the management capability.

Jet Fighter: A military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft and propelled with one or several jet engines.

Technical Capability: The capability of a firm or organization to acquire new technologies and technical resources for research and development practices and processes.

Jet Fighter Development Program: A process of programing and managing several jet fighter related projects, often with the intention of improving previous generation of a jet fighter. In this study emerging economy jet fighter development program refer to emerging economy nation program that aims to develop a nation’s own fighter.

Emerging Economies: Emerging economies is a suitcase term to denote countries that start from a low per capita income and take advantage of globalization and market liberalization to grow rapidly.

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