Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) and local innovative capacity
thesisposted on 15.11.2011, 13:44 by Abd Jaguli
The purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact of various channels of technology spillovers on local innovative capacity at national and firm level. At national level, the thesis investigates the drivers of Malaysia‟s innovative capacity and the effect of international external sources on innovative capacity. At firm level, this thesis examines the impact of FDI on the innovation progress and studies whether multinational corporations (MNCs) can act as catalysts to stimulate local firms‟ innovation activities in Malaysia. Via a case study analysis at firm level, this thesis focuses on knowledge transfer through backward linkages established between MNCs and their local suppliers. Time series data analysis is conducted to provide empirical evidence of the effect of FDI spillovers on Malaysia‟s innovative capacity at national level. Additionally, a case-study approach is adopted to investigate the impact of vertical FDI spillovers on the innovation performance of local Malaysian firms. The key findings of the study reveal that export-related spillovers are positively associated with Malaysia‟s innovative capacity, whereas importrelated spillovers play a minor role in local innovation. The findings also indicate that there is no significant correlation between economic development and local innovation, which suggests that strong economic growth is not a necessary condition in order for Malaysia to enhance its local innovative capacity. The results suggest that there is strong evidence of the importance of foreign innovation activities to local innovative capacity at national level. In contrast, knowledge spillovers measured by FDI inflows have no significant impact on local innovative capacity. The results showed that FDI might be constrained by the fact that spillovers are more likely to take place through vertical relationships than horizontal relationships. At firm level, the study suggests that knowledge and technology can be diffused through high-quality and standard requirements imposed by MNCs, the assessment and feedback and training programmes offered by MNCs to local suppliers, as well as the production process itself. These results extend ii the existing literature on national innovative capacity and validate earlier theoretical and empirical research on vertical spillovers. The findings from the thesis also have important policy and managerial implications with regard to the impact of FDI on host developing countries.
- Business and Economics