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Location strategy in cluster networks

Pengfei Li and Harald Bathelt ()
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Pengfei Li: HEC Montréal
Harald Bathelt: University of Toronto

Journal of International Business Studies, 2018, vol. 49, issue 8, 967-989

Abstract: Abstract This article investigates the location strategies of Canadian and Chinese multisite firms in international and domestic investment decisions at the metropolitan level. By integrating research from international business studies and economic geography, we combine knowledge-based understandings of multinational corporations and industrial clusters to develop propositions regarding the location strategies of multisite firms in cluster networks. It is argued that firms from clusters are more likely to adopt knowledge strategies than firms from other areas and that they tend to choose cluster locations that are specialized in the same or similar industries to achieve their knowledge goals – both in domestic and international investment decisions. We establish and analyze a database of 3500 investment cases within and between Canada and China to test our propositions. The results show that firms in knowledge-intensive industrial environments with substantial business experience are especially inclined to direct their investments to clusters. Consistent with our emphasis of the subnational as opposed to the national scale, we find that cluster-of-origin effects are more important than country-of-origin effects in explaining firms’ investment choices in clusters. These findings support the idea that multisite firms, particularly MNEs, leverage local knowledge pools by strategically locating affiliates across clusters.

Keywords: cluster networks; domestic investments; international investments; knowledge; location strategy; multinational corporations (MNCs) and enterprises (MNEs) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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