Additive manufacturing (AM) has the potential to transform the organisation of all the activities carried out by firms. The growing diffusion of these technologies is…
Additive manufacturing (AM) has the potential to transform the organisation of all the activities carried out by firms. The growing diffusion of these technologies is increasingly challenging multinational enterprises to reinvent their businesses. Accordingly, many scholars argue that AM may reduce countries’ participation in global value chains (GVCs) or, at least, affect GVCs’ geography, length and further developments. However, so far, the lack of available data on the real worldwide diffusion of these technologies has precluded the possibility to study this phenomenon from an empirical standpoint.
This study investigates AM technologies, with a particular focus on their possible impact on GVCs, in the framework of the current debate in international business. In order to examine this relationship and overcome the lack of adoption data, the authors identify a potential proxy of AM diffusion – that is, patenting activity. Coherently, the authors employ this proxy and a country-level measure of GVC participation (i.e., the Share of Re-Exported Inputs on Total Imported Inputs) to empirically investigate the role of AM in influencing countries’ participation to GVCs. This country-level analysis is focussed on three specific industries and the aggregate economy in 58 countries for the period 2000–2014.
The results show that AM decreases a country’s participation in GVCs, both at the country level and, in particular, in the sectors which are more likely to be affected by AM technologies. This evidence suggests that this phenomenon might be induced by a decreasing reliance on intermediates processed abroad, hence an increasing importance of domestic goods, manufactured via AM.
This study examines how foreign R&D investment may explain interfirm variations in productivity performance of home country firms in terms of spillovers. Many have studied…
This study examines how foreign R&D investment may explain interfirm variations in productivity performance of home country firms in terms of spillovers. Many have studied spillovers from MNCs to host country’s firms, but there is still scarce evidence on spillovers from outward FDI to the home country. This study analyzes spillovers from foreign R&D investment and hypothesizes that the benefit of outward R&D spillovers occurs only when knowledge accumulated in foreign R&D centers is effectively transferred to MNCs’ parent companies at home. This benefit depends on the mandate of foreign R&D units, their embeddedness in the host economy, and their entry mode. Using detailed firm-level data for Switzerland, our findings seem to support our arguments.
The contemporary dynamics impose companies to both innovate and internationalize at the same time while remaining competitive in the international marketplace. With this…
The contemporary dynamics impose companies to both innovate and internationalize at the same time while remaining competitive in the international marketplace. With this context in mind, Industry 4.0 technologies have the potential to increase the competitiveness of companies, leading to a new era of “Manufacturing Renaissance.” Recently, conceptual studies have speculated on possible impacts of the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in terms of international business. However, empirical studies on this topic are still lacking. Through a multiple case study approach, this study presents exploratory qualitative research investigating the relationship between Industry 4.0 and the internationalization of companies. The analysis of 16 Italian manufacturing exporting companies, which have adopted some of these technologies, has revealed a more intriguing relationship compared to the one presented in current literature, and thus has opened avenues for future research on this issue.
Contemporary businesses face rapidly evolving changes and complexities that challenge their respective managerial responses and capabilities. The natures of information…
Contemporary businesses face rapidly evolving changes and complexities that challenge their respective managerial responses and capabilities. The natures of information and communication systems, ways of doing business, knowledge-transfer methods, diffusion channels of innovation, and industrial habitus are shifting. Additionally, methods, concepts, and frameworks to study these challenges need to be in accordance.
Many of these features characterizing the new business environment influence not only the consumer business, but also the business-to-business (B2B) sectors and their ways of functioning. Interestingly, the influence also connects domestic with international business through the global connectedness. This is particularly visible in marketing communication, as the difference between domestic and international business communication has further diminished due to digital and virtual dimensions and applications. In this new age, it is assumed that new ventures and small- and medium-sized enterprises can turn their vulnerabilities and size constraints into competitive advantages by addressing these challenges with efficient social media usage. To address this technology-enabled dimension of B2B relations, the authors present a case study illustrating how a firm advances its relationship management and communication by introducing social media instruments. The study contributes to relationship management and international marketing communication and provides new insights into the workings of social media within the B2B context.
This study explores whether machinery firms with a ‘hidden champions’ profile leverage Industry 4.0 practices to roll out smart services; whether this allows them to get a…
This study explores whether machinery firms with a ‘hidden champions’ profile leverage Industry 4.0 practices to roll out smart services; whether this allows them to get a firm grip on their installed base; and whether it allows them to expand their international (service) business. The research is conducted based on exploratory, multiple-case study methods.
The author finds that the implementation of smart services can improve a machine tool builder’s hold on its installed base and expand the scope of its international (service) business. However, the study also finds that the ability to capitalise on this potential depends on a series of moderating variables. The study also concludes that there is a risk that smart services do not unlock a strong willingness-to-pay among potential customers.
It, therefore, calls into question several conventional wisdoms, such as the possibilities that Industry 4.0 offers for suppliers operating in business-to-business markets, and the receptiveness to smart services by buyers in such markets. Finally, it highlights the specific liabilities faced by hidden champions with regard to expanding their smart services business.
The chapter provides practical insights into the hurdles that industrial suppliers must overcome in their attempts to achieve uptake of smart services by customers, particularly within a cross-border context.
This chapter focuses on the junction of space and technology, place and context, on the one hand; and modern industrial systems, on the other hand; as well as the relevance of clusters and Industry 4.0. The authors will first briefly present the basics of cluster, as well as the fourth industrial revolution concepts. Then, the authors will speculate about the possible contribution of clusters to the development of Industry 4.0. This chapter demonstrates that the mechanisms and functionalities provided by clusters seem to be well aligned with the features of modern manufacturing, the industrial Internet and the integrated industry. Hence, it is reasonable to claim that clusters and Industry 4.0 are compatible, not contradictory, terms.
Digitalisation has become a central theme in the current economic and policy debate. Large digital and tech multinational enterprises (MNEs) are gaining an outsized role in the global economy. Also, the adoption of advanced digital technologies across all industries is fundamentally changing production processes. Both these (interrelated) phenomena have profound implications for economic structures, employment, inequality and development and industrialisation opportunities. This chapter analyses the international production and investment (i.e., foreign direct investment [FDI]) implications of the digital economy. First, it empirically documents significant differences in internationalisation patterns between the largest digital MNEs and traditional MNEs; particularly, the tendency of digital MNEs to exhibit an asset-light international footprint. Second, it argues that the powerful transformational forces related to digital adoption and the new industrial revolution have the potential to change international production more broadly, favouring a shift towards internationalisation models characterised by decentralised production, accelerated servicification and extended disintermediation. The chapter concludes with investment policy implications and a number of questions for future research.
In this chapter, the authors review emerging literature on multidimensional, information age-related phenomena across different disciplines to derive common themes and…
In this chapter, the authors review emerging literature on multidimensional, information age-related phenomena across different disciplines to derive common themes and topics. The authors then proceed to analyse recent developments in these fields to provide an interdisciplinary overview of the most disruptive challenges for multinational companies (MNCs) competing in the modern information age. These challenges include more efficient peer-to-peer communication between stakeholders, crowd-organisation, globalisation of value chains and the need to organise knowledge resources. The aim of the chapter is not to review all age research, but to identify fundamental uncertainties for MNCs and discuss strategies of tackling such information age phenomena from an international business perspective.