The Changing Geography Of Innovation And The Multinational Enterprise

Authored by: Davide Castellani

The Routledge Companion to the Geography of International Business

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138953345
eBook ISBN: 9781315667379
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315667379-27

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Abstract

The Economic Geography literature largely recognises that there are benefits from localised interactions and exchanges of knowledge which generate what Storper and Venables (2004) characterise as the ‘local buzz’ that tends to lead to an ever-increasing geographical concentration of innovation activity in a few regions. However, it may be both unrealistic and undesirable for economic regions to rely only on ‘local buzz’ for developing their knowledge base, and successful clusters need to combine knowledge internal and external to the cluster. To this end, ‘global pipelines’ need to be established in order to allow external knowledge to flow into the clusters (Bathelt, Malmberg & Maskell, 2004; Owen-Smith & Powell, 2004). The International Business literature has long established that multinational enterprises (MNEs) – that can be conceptualised as global orchestrators of knowledge – are in a privileged position to build these pipelines by tapping into diverse knowledge clusters and thanks to their ability to de-contextualise tacit knowledge and transfer it within the MNE and across space (Castellani & Zanfei, 2006; Meyer, Mudambi & Narula, 2011; Cano-Kollmann et al., 2016).

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