SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration
Organising R&D in a global environment, Increasing dispersed co-operation versus continuos centralisation.
Abstract: Theories on R&D organisation draw on globalisation
literature as well as on communication theories. This mixed discourse is a
problem, since mixing levels of logic sometimes cause faulty conclusions.
How is this double logic handled in organisations, and what is the effect
on R&D organisation? This study investigates R&D activities in
multinational companies with several production sites and markets, focusing
what reasons and forces are mentioned in relation to the geographical
structure of the R&D activities. We assume that there are opposing forces,
both dispersing and contracting the R&D activities geographically. The
purpose of the paper is to investigate perceived geographically dispersing
and contracting forces on R&D activities, and how a possible conflict
between these is handled. This is done by studying how the level of
dispersion has come to be, what events or decision has caused the
dispersion of R&D. We show that trends in R&D dispersion are active in two
directions, one dispersing and one contracting, and that these are partly
working at separate organisational levels. The dispersing forces are more
prevalent at strategic levels, while the contracting forces are more
pronounced at the operational level.
Keywords: R&D; Globalization; Communication; Virtual teams; (follow links to similar papers)
14 pages, April 3, 2002
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