The role of globally dispersed knowledge in explaining performance outcomes
Reshaping the Boundaries of the Firm in an Era of Global Interdependence
ISBN: 978-0-85724-087-3, eISBN: 978-0-85724-088-0
Publication date: 12 November 2010
Purpose – Integrating insights from the literatures on internationalization and knowledge externalities, we posit that the reservoirs of scientific knowledge residing in different locations around the world have significant power in explaining interfirm performance variations. We assert that the ability to access and exploit such intangible resources differs considerably across multinationals, according to both firm-specific and exogenously determined factors.
Methodology – Unlike previous research that typically focuses on knowledge flows within one nation or between two countries, our statistical analysis combines firm-level data with industry-level information on 18 countries and 15 manufacturing sectors.
Findings and implications – The empirical findings indicate that the performance-enhancing effect of global knowledge reservoirs is positive and often higher than that of a firm's own knowledge. Whereas some multinationals excel at exploiting such intangible resources, others fail to do so successfully. In this respect, the results indicate that a firm's ability to benefit from global knowledge reservoirs is positively associated with its degree of international diversification, the intensity of its own research efforts, and exogenously determined opportunities pertaining to different technological domains.
Kafouros, M.I., Buckley, P.J. and Clegg, J. (2010), "The role of globally dispersed knowledge in explaining performance outcomes", Pla-Barber, J. and Alegre, J. (Ed.) Reshaping the Boundaries of the Firm in an Era of Global Interdependence (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 223-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1745-8862(2010)0000005014
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