Internationalization of R&D: Safe Nests in Global Nets

Di Minin, A., & Bianchi, M. 2011. Safe Nests in Global Nets: Internalization and Appropriability of R&D in Wireless Telecom. Journal of International Business Studies, 42(7): 910-934.

This paper documents the case of the wireless telecom industry to bring new empirical evidence to the debate on the internationalization of research and development (R&D) activities. The stickiness of core R&D projects to headquarters is related not only to organizational inertia and the unripe maturation of subsidiaries, as suggested by prior literature, but particularly to the HQ centralization of intellectual property (IP) management, which offers a high level of appropriability of R&D results. The unequal distribution of appropriability across corporate R&D networks is at the base of the formation of safe nests, domestic R&D centers that are sheltered from the forces of globalization because they offer a desirable setting for the exploitation of technologies deriving from a stronger coordination of inventive activities with the management of IP.

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