Innovation and location in the multinational firm

John Cantwell, Yanli Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This paper provides an overview of the relationship between multinational corporations (MNCs) and local economic systems. It examines the implications of a decentralisation of innovative activity within MNCs for their interaction with local networks. It is shown that this interaction depends upon the type of cluster, whether a general centre of excellence or a specialised centre. These two principal kinds of cluster are associated with different structures of local knowledge spillovers between firms. Localised science-technology linkages offer a further category of interaction. It is shown how locational hierarchies may affect the locational strategies of MNCs when they disperse innovative activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-132
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Clusters
  • Knowledge spillovers
  • Locational hierarchies
  • MNC
  • Multinational corporations
  • Science-technology linkages


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