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A longitudinal study of MNE innovation: the case of Goodyear

Vittoria Giada Scalera (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy)
Debmalya Mukherjee (Department of Management, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA)
Alessandra Perri (Department of Management, Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Venice, Italy)
Ram Mudambi (Department of Strategic Management, Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Multinational Business Review

ISSN: 1525-383X

Article publication date: 9 September 2014




The purpose of this article is to provide insights into the innovation trajectory, and knowledge pipelines of mature industry multinational enterprises (MNEs). The ability to innovate constantly amidst a turbulent and competitive environment is often the key force behind MNE survival and dominance.


This study conducts an in-depth longitudinal study of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, a global manufacturing company in the tire and rubber industry. The findings are based on USPTO patent and trademark data from 1975-2005.


The analysis reveals three crucial trends: the major role of continuous investment in innovation in the firm’s survival and turnaround; the evolution of the firm’s innovation network from a headquarters-centric model toward more geographical dispersal; and the changing mix of innovation from traditional “hard” science-based research toward a greater emphasis on “softer” competencies in design and trademarks. This third trend, in particular, opens up important new avenues for research on MNE innovation practices.


This study integrates historical analysis of a single firm in the context of its changing industry environment. The historical analysis is enriched by a detailed longitudinal quantitative analysis using a variegated dataset of patents and trademarks to investigate innovation.



Giada Scalera, V., Mukherjee, D., Perri, A. and Mudambi, R. (2014), "A longitudinal study of MNE innovation: the case of Goodyear", Multinational Business Review, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 270-293.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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