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Funding sources and the strategic roles of decentralised R&D in multinationals

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This paper analyses the sources of funding accessed by laboratories of foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in the UK. The five separate sources of funding are systematically related to four different roles that such labs are seen to play. The results confirm the view that decentralised R&D in MNEs now plays significant and carefully defined roles in the technological and competitive evolution of these enterprises. The strong position of central group funds is seen to reflect two trends in the status of decentralised labs. Firstly, to support their willingness to activate strong local scientific inputs for longer-term and speculative (risky) research programmes. Secondly, to inculcate an acceptance of individual labs to operate within interdependent networks of group operations (precompetitive research or product development).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of International and European Economic Studies, Athens University of Economics and Business, 76 Patission Street, 104 34 Athens, Greece. , Email: 2: Department of Economics, Reading University Business School, PO Box 218, Whiteknights, Reading, Berks RG6 6AA, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2005


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