This course is reserved for students registered in OP90 - Innovation and Competition in High-Tech specialisation.
The main objective of this course is to help students explore the challenges HIGH-TECH companies face when doing business globally.The course focuses on large MNEs but non-exclusively, and also tackles the case of entrepreneurial born-global firms.
International business (IB) studies have for long contended that innovation investments made by multinational enterprises (MNEs) foster the globalization of their activities, and simultaneously international expansion drives innovation.
However, three important questions remain:
- The propensity of MNEs for “globalization” was widely considered as given and undisputed by IB scholars. The prevalence of such propensity has however been challenged 15 years ago, in particular by a study made by Verbeke and Rugman (2004). It shows that out of the 500 most profitable MNEs (Fortune 500), many of them in the domain of HIGH-TECH, very few barely venture beyond the borders of their home region. Regionalization – rather than globalization – attracted scholars’ attention in empirical and theoretical studies (Verbeke, Coeurderoy & Matt, 2018). A new phenomenon of de-globalization of MNEs activities is evenobserved today. Concerns towards globalization (e.g., nationalism, anti-immigration actions, and restrictions on former trade agreements) affect MNEs’ strategies. Hence we first explore in the course whether the most innovative MNEs worldwide are also touched by this de-globalization phenomenon or whether their technological advantages enable them to circumvent the macro institutional and political trends against nationalization.
- The IB community (scholars and practitioners) shows a clear interest in further understanding the link between innovation and the nature/rhythm of internationalization of MNEs’ activities. Two main theoretical streams – internationalization theory (Dunning, 1988; Rugman, 1981) and Uppsala theory (Johanson&Valhne, 1993) – argue in particular that a positive and reinforcing relationship exists between innovation and globalization of MNEs. The current de-globalization phenomenon challenges the insights of those theories. Building on those theories, we hence aim to investigate the nature of the link between HIGH-TECH innovation and regionalization/globalization of MNEs activities.
- Most of the IB studies on MNEs have focused on MNEs’ market power, privileged access to intangible assets, know-how and production facilities. While globalization enables to extend revenues opportunities and location economies, it simultaneously implies additional costs and risks of an economic or political nature. Hence,we thirdly question to what extent innovative HIGH-TECH MNEs can benefit from globalization to improve their economic and financial performances?