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Internationalization of Research and Development: Empirical Studies from Perspective of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

[ Project leader: Dr. Stephan Buse ]

[ Advisor: Prof. Dr. Cornelius Herstatt ]

Small and medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) have to deal with similar challenges of globalization like multinational companies (MNCs). Due to cost disadvantages vis-à-vis their international competitors especially German SMEs have to create competitive advantages by achieving a high degree of innovativeness. Objective of this standing investigation is to continuously examine different forms of global innovation. In detail following questions aresought to be answered.

  • Are Outsourcing and Offshoring important aspects in the Research and Development (R&D) Strategies of German SMEs?

  • What are the reasons pro and contra regarding the internationalization of R&D in German SMEs and what are the critical success factors?

  • What are the preferred international R&D-locations for German SMEs and why? How important are Asian countries and especially India and China as R&D-locations?

  • Do SMEs face competitive disadvantages if they do not offshore or outsource their R&D-activities internationally?

  • To what extent can SMEs learn from MNC’s global innovation strategies?

This standing study seeks to answer these questions by collecting empricial evidence from a cross-sectoral perspective. The research work is focussed on following industry sectors:

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
  • Pharmaceutics and Life Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Automotives and Automotive Components Industries
  • Logistics