Knowledge Accession Strategies and the Spatial Organization of R&D

John Cantwell, Feng Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This study investigates the technological knowledge accumulation pattern of the world's largest firms in the electrical equipment (EE) industry. The study founds that a firm's ability to integrate technologically diversified knowledge and its ability to access geographically dispersed knowledge can, respectively, enhance the firm's performance. Yet firms may face a potential tradeoff between these two types of capabilities. Moreover, EE firms with broader technological knowledge portfolios, which we have termed 'generalists', have on average enjoyed a better performance than firms with a narrower technological knowledge base, namely 'specialists'. The findings of this study generate important insights on how the accession and utilization of geographically dispersed technological knowledge affect corporate-level innovative performance. This study further contributes to a better understanding of firm heterogeneity in the structures of international knowledge accumulation within the same industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInnovation and Growth: From R&D Strategies of Innovating Firms to Economy-wide Technological Change
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191748998
ISBN (Print)9780199646685
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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