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The Internationalization of R&D and its Offshoring Process

Authors: Jianlin Li, Jizhen Li


Transnational corporations (TNCs) are playing a major role in global R&D, not only through activities in their home countries but also increasingly abroad. However, the process of R&D offshoring is not yet discussed thoroughly. Based on in-depth case study on Agilent China Communications Operation, this paper presents a stage model for theorizing the R&D offshoring process. This stage model outlines 5 maturity levels of organization and the offshoring process: Subsidiary team, Mirror team, Independent team, Mirror sector and the Independent sector (from software engineering point of view, it is similar to the local team's capability level of maturity model). Moreover, the paper gives a detailed discussion on the relevant characteristics, as well as the ability/responsibility of transfer, priorities and the corresponding organization structure. It also gives the characteristics and key points of different level-s R&D offshoring implementation using actual team practice.

Keywords: Multinational Corporations, Internationalization of R&D, R&D offshoring process, Organization Level

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