SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (2): 277-284.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2019.02.012

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Evolution of R&D Behavior and Influential Factors of Indigenous Enterprises of Host Countries Under the Global-local Background: A Case Study of Manufacturing Enterprises in Guangzhou from the Perspective of Technology Spillover

Lili Xia(), Runxiao Wang, Xinyi Liang, Fan Xiao   

  1. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2018-12-10 Revised:2019-02-11 Online:2019-02-10 Published:2019-02-10
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (41001079), Soft Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (2016A070705050).


The global-local relationship generated in the process of innovation and transnational innovative mechanism has become a new topic of regional development. The research on the impact of globalizing forces on the innovation of host countries is mainly based on the perspective of technology spillover and the impact on the evolution of economic and innovation consequence of host countries has attracted great attention during the last two decades. Few literatures, however, have focused on the impact on the process of innovation,which is more significant for developing host countries to achieve technical transition and value upgrading in global production network. Based on a case study of Guangzhou, this article begs the question of what effect the technology spillover of transnational enterprises has on the process of innovation of China, especially on indigenous manufacturing firms, which play a key role in industrialization and face increasingly urgent environmental regulation and the demand of technical transition in China. Fieldwork is carried out to obtain R&D behavior’s characteristics of indigenous manufacturing firms using semi-structured questionnaire through face-to-face interviews with owners or responsible persons of the firms selected by convenient and snowball sampling. Location of the samples covers major manufacturing area in Guangzhou. The results show that since the 1990s, the indigenous firms have gradually increased R&D input, established independent R&D institutions as well as actively promoted R&D internationalization. Meanwhile, the R&D behavior of technology import and external cooperation are relatively weak. These changes indicate the indigenous manufacturing firms have experienced a R&D mode transition from highly dependent on introducing technology from developed Countries to the internalization and internationalization of R&D behavior dominated by self-dependent innovation. Promoting the motivation of self-dependent innovation of indigenous enterprises underlies the evolution of R&D behavior under the circumstance of integrating multinational innovation network. The study further investigates what impacts the technical spillover from foreign investments have on the evolution of R&D mode of indigenous manufacturing firms and its mechanism by building an ordinal polytomous logistic regression model. In the model, the effect of technical relation, productive cooperation and labor turnover between translational and indigenous manufacturing enterprises have been examined. The results show that technical spillover from foreign investments has a significant impact on the transition of R&D mode of local enterprises. Both of the decreased technical gaps and the free flow of labor force between international and local enterprises have significantly promoted the motivation of independent R&D behavior of local enterprises. More closely embedded in global production networks also has a positive effect. However, international technology procurement has a significant negative effect on self-dependent innovation of indigenous manufacturing firms. The results of this paper can help to enrich the understanding of the evolution of local innovation process and its mechanism under the background of globalization, and provide inspiration for the policy-making of regional innovation system integrated global forces.

Key words: global-local, indigenous manufacturing enterprises, evolution of R&D mode;, technology spillover, Guangzhou

CLC Number: 

  • K902