Relatively little is known about the research and development activity of US or other foreign-owned companies in the UK. This is in part due to the disclosure difficulties surrounding research effort, but is also a function of serious definitional problems as to what constitutes R&D, especially where cross-company and cross-industry comparisons are concerned. These are discussed here and some now conventional solutions are adopted. The main purpose of this paper is, however, to summarise a number of interesting and potentially important propositions which have emerged over recent years on the nature of R&D activities in US multinational enterprises (MNEs) and thereafter to apply them to an empirical study recently conducted among a sample of US-owned electronics affiliates in Scotland. It might be expected that this sample will prove to be a rather special case within the spectrum of US MNEs, given the R&D orientation. On the other hand, there is a particular Scottish interest in the sector given that it accounts for some 25 per cent of employment in US-owned affiliates, and is also the most expansive sector in recent years, especially when set against a backcloth of substantial decline in many MNE affiliates in Scotland (Hood and Young, 1982). Arguably, too little attention has been given to the nature of activity within electronics affiliates in Scotland until a recent SDA sector study (Scottish Development Agency, 1979).
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- R&D Intensity in the Affiliates of US-Owned Electronics Companies Manufacturing in Scotland (1983)
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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