Project title: Reverse knowledge spillover and innovation performance of European-invested firms in emerging economies: the case of China’s ICT industry
The extant literature on trans-boundary knowledge flows has primarily focused on FDI spillover effects on local firms in emerging economies. However, the issues on whether or not and under what conditions foreign-invested firms can enjoy knowledge spillovers from local firms in developing countries are largely unknown. This project attempts to develop an analytical framework that incorporates organization and institution theories into the geographical knowledge spillover literature to investigate the mechanisms of local knowledge sourcing and innovation performance of European-invested firms in China. Specifically, three research questions will be addressed. 1) Are European-invested firms able to gain reverse knowledge spillovers from local firms to enhance innovation performance when operating in emerging economies such as China? 2) How European-invested firms explore, organize and coordinate knowledge from both local and global scales to enhance innovation performance? 3) Due to the legitimacy problems and liability of foreignness, does local institutional, cultural and social construction moderate these problems and exert influences on knowledge sourcing and innovation performance of European-invested firms? The research results are expected to make a contribution to the strategies and practices of European-based enterprises in China as well as provide insights into the regional governance over an economy with a hybrid of firm structure.