EMNC technological knowledge flow patterns: an overview of the US patents granted

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Purpose: With considerable attention paid to the motives and process of idiosyncratic internationalization trajectory of multinationals from emerging economies (EMNCs), little is known on whether, and if so how, new competitive advantages of EMNCs are created and accumulated over time. MNC and EMNC literature agrees on the importance of external and internal knowledge linkages in technological competence creation. By building upon this framework, this paper aims to evaluate EMNCs’ external and internal knowledge flow patterns by benchmarking their counterparts from mature industrialized countries (MMNCs). Design/methodology/approach: This study analyzes US patents granted between 2000 and 2014 to leading innovation-oriented EMNCs from China and India, and their matched MMNCs. Being the first to use the US patent and citation data in studying leading innovation-oriented EMNCs, the authors use a descriptive statistical method. Findings: The findings offer empirical insights of the scale, scope and quality of EMNC technological competence creation. Moreover, in contrast to existing EMNC literature, it is found that EMNC parents have been the most important center of EMNC technological knowledge generation. The matched group comparisons of external and internal knowledge flows further reveal detailed similarities and differences of competence creation between EMNCs and MMNCs, and among EMNCs. Originality/value: This study represents one of the first attempts to investigate the post-internationalization technological competence creation of EMNCs by using a novel data source. This study sets the foundation to deepen the understanding of EMNC technological competence creation. The findings suggest interesting propositions and offer important implications for future researches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-155
Number of pages27
JournalMultinational Business Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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