International technology transfer is the process by which a technology, expertise, know how or facilities developed by one business organization (MNC in the case of international business) is transferred to another business organization. There are many issues associated with the international technology transfer. The most important international technology transfer issues are; ways of technology acquisition, choice of technology, terms of technology transfer, and creating local capability.
Modes of Foreign Technology Acquisition
One of the major issues in technology transfer relates to the mode of acquisition. Developing new technology may conjure up visions of scientists and product developers working in R&D laboratories. In reality, new technology comes from many different sources, including suppliers, manufactures, users, other industries, universities, government, and MNCs . While every source needs to be explored, each firm has specific sources for most of the new technologies. For example, because of the limited size of most farming operations, innovations in farming mainly come from manufacturers, suppliers, and government agencies. In many industries, however, the primary sources of new technologies are the organizations that use the technology. Broadly the acquisition routes are three:
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- Internal Technology Acquisition: This is result of technology development efforts that are initiated and controlled by the firm itself.
Technology is a new variable in the equation of economic relations. Traditional theories of international business assumes that all nations have equal access to technology and, therefore, that there is no need to transfer technology from one county to another. Recent research findings have invalidated this assumption. In addition, they point to technology differences as primary cause of international inequalities in economic achievements. To reduce the inequalities, technology capabilities of the backward nations must be strengthened. The quickest way to do so is to transfer technology from the developed to the developing nations.
Technology is any device or process used for productive purposes. In its broadest sense, it is the sum of the ways in which a given group provides itself with good and services, the group being a nation, an industry, or a single firm. There is a fundamental characteristic of technology that demands clear recognition. Q unites unlike commodities and capital, technology is not depleted or its supply diminished when it is transferred or used. It is usable but not consumable.… Read More »
Public attitudes toward Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are biased by a nation’s position as a home or host country. Historically, home countries have perceived MNC activities as desirable extensions of their domestic business systems. Conversely host countries have viewed MNCs as agents of foreign influenced and exploitation. This historic dichotomy is now shot through with conflicting perceptions of the MNCs. Different segments of society, such as labor, investors, consumers, traders, and farmers, see their interests affected in different ways. As a result, a multisided controversy about the societal merits and demerits of MNCs has grown in both host and home countries.
The most aggressive challenge to the traditionally supportive home country policies towards MNCs has come from organized labor.
Multi-nationalization has created for management new mobility and flexibility that have greatly enhanced its bargaining power vis-à-vis labor. Since the sourcing base of the multinational firm knows no national boundaries – it can draw anywhere in the world the capital, technology, raw materials, ideas, and labor that it needs – management is not dependent on any one country’s labor supply or labor union’s policies, but can choose from among a number of potential hosts for any particular operation.… Read More »
Although the Multinational Corporations (MNCs) has no power over the host government, if may have considerable power under that government. By being able to influence certain factors, the MNC has the opportunity to help or harm national economics; in this sense, it may be said to have power against host governments. Critics of the MNC perceive these powers as potential perils to host societies. The strategic aspects of a host country’s national policy that are subject to the
influence of the MNC include:
1. Planning and Direction of Industrial Growth
Host nations have viewed with concern the tendencies of many MNCs to centralize strategic decisions in their headquarters. For the host governments this signifies loss of control over industrial strategy to the foreign-based MNC. The MNCs allegiances are geocentric; their overall objectives are growth and profits globally rather than in the host economy. These objectives require efficiency in the functional areas of management – production, marketing, finance, and so on. Many MNCs have sought greater efficiency through centralization, with headquarters domination of affiliates as the unavoidable result.… Read More »
All Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are not equally likely to cause friction and tension in their host economies. Some adapt with relative ease and become closely integrated with their host environment, both economically and socio-culturally; others remain isolated and insulated, often forming alien enclaves in the host society. There appears to be a causal relationship between the MNC’s organizational structure that is, its organizational design as well as its underlying objectives and strategies and its capacity for social adaptation to host country conditions. In terms of inducement to social conflict, MNCs fall into three categories: home dominated, host dominated, and internationally integrated.
Home or Parent Dominated MNCs
These enterprises are organized and managed in such a way that the foreign based subsidiaries and other affiliates, whatever their specific legal form, serve primarily in a complementary support role. Their function is to help the parent company achieve its business objectives in the headquarters country. The subsidiaries have an entirely dependent role. Their local interests and needs, including social adjustment, are subordinated to and, if necessary, sacrificed for the parent company’s home operations.… Read More »
Knowledge-intensive production, technological change, shrinking economic space greater openness have also changed the context for Transnational Corporations (TNCs). There are new opportunities and pressures to utilize them. The opening of markets creates new geographical space for TNCs to expand in and access tangible and intangible resources. It also permits wider choice in the methods firms can use (FDI, trade, licensing, subcontracting, franchising, partnering and so on) to operate in different locations. At the same time, advances in information, communication and transportation technologies, as well as in managerial and organizational methods, facilitate the trans-nationalization of many firms, including SMEs. The combination of better access to resources and a better ability to organize production trans-nationally increases the pressure on firms to utilize new opportunities, lest their competitors do so first and gain a competitive advantage. Competition is everywhere – there are fewer and fewer profit reservations and market niches that remain protected from the fierce winds of competition. Indeed, a portfolio of locational assets – allowing firms to combine their mobile advantages most effectively with the mobile tangible arid intangible resources of specific locations – is becoming an increasingly important source of corporate competitiveness.… Read More »