R&D Internationalization as Mechanism of Innovation in Global Enterprises: A Brazilian Case Study

R&D Internationalization as Mechanism of Innovation in Global Enterprises: A Brazilian Case Study

Simone Vasconcelos Ribeiro Galina (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-165-8.ch033
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Internationalization of Research and Development (R&D) allows transnational companies (TNC) to access different and important resources overseas, which may lead to the improvement of their technological innovation. The literature in this field has been mostly created from studies of TNCs coming from developed countries. This chapter presents some of the main topics the literature addresses on R&D internationalization, then it will explore and verify how companies in developing countries internationalize their R&D activities. In order to do so, a bibliographic review about strategies of internationalization of TNC operations, as well as motivating factors and management of R&D internationalization have been conducted. The chapter finishes by presenting a case study about international R&D conducted in a Brazilian TNC. The results enabled to evidence that, like developed countries TNCs, developing countries’ companies also seem to perform internationalization of R&D activities with very similar characteristics.
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Strategies For Enterprises Internationalization

Internationalization of companies is quickly increasing as shown by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development [UNCTAD] (2009, 2005). In 1990, the number of worldwide Transnational Enterprises was about 37,000 and with at least 170,000 foreign affiliates; in 2004 this number increased to 70,000 with at least 690,000 foreign affiliates; and in 2008 the number of MNCs jumped to 82,000 with 810,000 foreign affiliates half of them being located in developing countries.

The internationalization of companies is not a recent scenario. In the 18th century, there are accounts of companies, especially European ones, which held business out of their country of origin. However, several aspects of globalization (financial, commercial, productive, economical, institutional) modified the behavior of companies worldwide, thus intensifying their migration. As it is presented, globalization is relatively recent and was originated amidst the significant growth of the post-World War II international business (Baumann, 1996; UNCTAD, 1994), and has consolidated especially due to the technological development of fundamental areas to base global institutional operation: information technology, communication and logistics.

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