Purpose: This paper aims to introduce and advocate the concept of resource commitment to better understand multinational enterprise (MNE) research and development (R&D) behavior. Design/methodology/approach: Adopting a theory adaptation research design, this paper assesses the characteristics and antecedents associated with varying resource commitment positions. It does so in relation to MNE R&D activities, considering their importance to firm competitiveness and the recent increases in the number of locations and innovative activities a firm might choose to invest in. Findings: The paper presents a framework showing that differences in resource commitment are more nuanced than expected. The evaluation of antecedents shows that the external environment, the purpose of R&D activities and firm experience influence the resource commitment position of a firm’s R&D activities. Originality/value: The paper provides a pathway toward understanding of MNE R&D behavior, explaining observable differences in resource and commitment levels of R&D units. The presented framework offers MNE managers insight into when to adopt which resource commitment positions. It offers policymakers insights into the type of activities and the companies they need to attract to maximize the added value of firm’s investments in their country/region.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 5 December 2020.
- Multinational enterprise
- Resource commitment
- Research and development
- Resource-based view