Strategic R&D internationalisation in developing Asian countries - The Italian experience

Stefano Bresciani, Alkis Thrassou, Demetris Vrontis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Increasingly over the last two decades, companies not only produce and sell, but also develop goods and services outside their home countries. Rapidly becoming the rule rather than the exception, these firms undertake significant R&D activities at different locations abroad. The phenomenon is especially visible in the developing Asian countries, whose markets are becoming extremely attractive to foreign firms while their workforce's and infrastructural R&D capacities and competencies themselves progressively favour R&D. The aim of this paper is to show R&D internationalisation activities of firms from Italy in Asian developing countries. Using a dataset of 500 Italian firms with international R&D units, as well as interviews, we researched whether companies follow a knowledge augmenting or knowledge sourcing strategy. The results show a positive relation between the choice to settle R&D units in Asia and the sale of innovative products in Asia, concluding that firms follow a knowledge exploiting strategy, establishing their whole innovation value chain to developing Asian countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)200-216
    Number of pages17
    JournalWorld Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Development
    • Innovation
    • Internationalisation
    • Knowledge augmenting
    • Knowledge sourcing, Asia, Italy
    • R&D
    • Research
    • Research and development


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