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Multinational Enterprises in Regional Innovation Processes

Empirical Insights into Intangible Assets, Open Innovation and Firm Embeddedness in Regional Innovation Systems in Europe

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Jan-Philipp Kramer

This book is positioned at the interface of research in economic geography and strategic management, combining topics like intangible assets (IAs), Open Innovation strategies of multinational enterprises (MNEs), and Regional Innovation Systems (RIS). A micro-approach to analyzing the innovation behavior of nine MNEs in two advanced European economies, Germany and the UK, was applied, which has revealed key channels through which IAs are enhanced in the innovation processes of multinationals and has described their spatial roots and impact. Moreover, the study presents a novel matrix of the regional embeddedness of MNEs and systematically classifies the case study firms. Finally, it shows that geographical proximity to RIS is important for Open Innovation and enables MNEs to strengthen their absorptive capacity.

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7 CONCLUSIONS 199

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199 7 Conclusions 7.1 Answers to the Research Questions This study is positioned at the interface of research in economic geography/ regional science and strategic management/international business, combining topics like intangible assets on the firm and regional level, Open Innovation strategies of multinational enterprises, Regional Innovation Systems, and loca- lized knowledge creation. Acknowledging the need for a more sufficient under- standing of the complexities of the regional location of MNEs in innovation processes (a strategic management perspective) and a more sophisticated ap- proach to analyzing firms strategies in respect to location (an economic geo- graphy perspective), this dissertation incorporates elements of both research streams to accomplish the research goals and find answers to the guiding ques- tions outlined in chapter one. A micro-approach to analyzing the innovation be- havior of multinational enterprises in two advanced European economies, Ger- many and the UK, was applied, which provides new empirical insights on in- tangible assets as microfoundations of sustained innovation performance, the regional embeddedness of MNEs in RIS, and the spatial dimensions of Open Innovation. As advocated by SCHÄTZL (2001), this study and its guiding re- search questions (the answers to which are summarized below) were organized along theoretical, empirical, and policy dimensions. The policy and management implications will be discussed in section 7.3 below. 1) What are the pivotal characteristics of intangible assets based on the con- cepts discussed in the literature on firm innovation processes, systems of in- novation, and multinational enterprises? The source of value creation and innovation...

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