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‘Low cost–high tech’ innovations for China: why setting up a separate R&D unit is not always the best approach

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In this article, we investigate the following question: How can multinational corporations set up their R&D organizations in order to make the best use of their existing technologies and experiences, while at the same time gain a deeper understanding of Asian markets, their requirements, and trends? To answer this question we used a case study approach to examine two distinct organizations which are developing specific innovations for the Chinese market. We refer to these innovations as ‘low cost–high tech’ innovations, which seem specifically appropriate for emerging market contexts like in China. Based on our findings, we refine an existing theoretical framework and propose a set of new organization types for R&D units.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Management of Innovation and Technology, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany. ;;, Email: 2: International Management, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany., Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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