MNCs, global innovation networks and developing countries : insights from Motorola in China

Yun Chung CHEN, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Jan VANG, Aalborg University, Denmark

Copyright © 2008 Society for Alliance, Fidelity and Advancement (SAFA).

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This paper aims at complementing the existing literature on globalization of innovations. More specifically, the paper contributes to the literature on the role of developing countries in MNCs global innovation networks (GINs). The bulk of the existing literature has proven useful in explaining process of concentration of MNCs GINs in OECD countries and thus implicitly explaining why developing countries play a marginal role only. A new and smaller stream of literature has started to identify why developing countries nevertheless have started to emerge as marginal yet important players in MNCs GINs. This paper extents our understanding of the evolutionary processes in MNCs GINs in developing countries and introduces intra-country spatial dynamics. The insights are based on an in-depth case study on Motorola's GIN where special attention is paid to China's changing role and how and why Motorola includes 'new' Chinese city-regions in its GIN.