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Market versus technology drive in R&D internationalization: four different patterns of managing research and development

2002-05-01 , von Zedtwitz, Maximilian , Gassmann, Oliver

Research and development are subject to different location drivers. The analysis of 1021 R&D units, each distinguished by its main orientation towards either research or development work, reveals that research is concentrated in only five regions worldwide, while development is more globally dispersed. Our research is based on 290 research interviews and database research in 81 technology-intensive multinational companies. We identify two principal location rationales-access to markets and access to science-as the principal determinants for four trends that lead to four archetypes of R&D internationalization: ‘national treasure', ‘market-driven', ‘technology-driven', and ‘global'. Their organizational evolution is characterized by four trends. The model is illustrated with short cases of international R&D organization at Kubota, Schindler, Xerox, and Glaxo-Wellcome. Differences in R&D internationalization drivers lead to a separation of individual R&D units by geography and organization. Current belief is to integrate R&D processes; separation seems to contradict this trend. We argue that this need not be the case, for there are good reasons to maintain some independence between research and development.