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Benchmarking the Internationalisation and Coordination of R&D Activities of European and Japanese Corporations

: Reger, G.

Euro Asia Management Studies Association -EAMSA-:
Asian Firms Looking Towards the Global Market
Metz: EAMSA, 1997
Aufsatz in Buch
Fraunhofer ISI ()

There are few publications that provide benchmarking of siutable forms and mechanisms for the co-ordination of international R&D and innovation processes in multi-national corporations. This paper aims to help close this gap on the basis of interwievs conducted in 18 Western European and Japanese enterprises. in this respect, the analysis of the differences between European and Japanese corporations is highly important because the co-ordination in Japanese firms is often regarded as a model of "best practice". The empirical results reveal that the major strengths of Japanese companies are their effective co-ordination of the value chain and integration of R&D into their business strategies. Both advantages are achieved through intensive use of personal contacts, informal communication and socialisation. However, European enterprises obviously underestimate these instruments and rely more on international quasi-markets in R&D. These advantages in Japanese R&D management are also accompa nied by drawbacks; while co-ordination is sukccessfully supported within the company in Japan, the integration of international R&D is rendered more difficult.