Comparative Study of Multinational Companies in the Enlarged EU - A Technology Transfer Perspective

Our study makes a novel contribution to the analysis of the link between multinational companies' heterogeneity and technological transfer. Thereby, we focus on internal technology transfer i.e. technology flowing from the multinational enterprise to the foreign subsidiary. We estimate the impact of corporate governance, subsidiary objectives, local absorptive capacity, as well as the cultural and geographic distance as potential determinants of internal technology transfer. We control for other observed firm- and industry-specific effects as well as unobserved host-country effects. We test our hypothesis with a firm-level data simultaneously collected from 434 foreign subsidiaries in Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2002/2003. The evidence seems to indicate that the nature of the parent-subsidiary relationship is subject to the institutional context, subsidiary objectives, and risks involved for the foreign parent. These factors in turn determine the incentives for transferring knowledge to the subsidiary. Foreign subsidiaries' absorptive capacity enhances the intensity of internal technology transfer. In contrast geographic distance seems to limit the extent of technology transfer within the company. Country-of-origin-effects seem not to be statistically relevant for internal technology transfer once we control for observable firm, industry, and unobserved host-country-specific effects.

01. July 2007

Authors Johannes Stephan Björn Jindra I. Klugert

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