Extra-regional linkages through MNCs in organizationally thick and specialized RISs: a source of new path development?
11-May-2017 12:00:00 AM
|Title:||Extra-regional linkages through MNCs in organizationally thick and specialized RISs: a source of new path development?|
|Research group:||Næringsliv og Innovasjon (Innovation and Industry)|
|Published by:||Taylor & Francis Online, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09654313.2016.1273322|
This paper explores how global innovation networks (GIN) within multinational companies (MNCs) act as extra-regional sources for path development in a regional innovation system (RIS) specializing in the oil and gas sector. We combine the literature on intra-firm knowledge dynamics in MNCs’ GIN with the literature on RISs to better understand their interrelatedness and their dynamics. Based on interviews with 15 MNCs located in the south-west of Norway, we find that firms are highly dependent on competence throughout the MNCs’ entire networks, as well as interaction with the overall RIS. The findings expose that MNCs’ GINs can act as extra-regional sources for path ‘extension’ in thick and specialized RISs through intra-firm mobility, observation and sharing of routines and best practice, mainly resulting in incremental innovations. We find some signs of potential path ‘renewal’, including radical innovation ideas. However, there are hampering factors linked to strong internal competition for innovation projects, pressure for local profitability and ownership motivation. At the level of RISs, new initiatives going beyond existing cluster initiatives and specializations need support.