MNC strategies and local knowledge bases: Do foreign subsidiaries exploit local skill formation systems?

Authors: Johannes Westermeyer*, University of Cologne, Department of Economic and Social Geography, Martina Fuchs, University of Cologne, Department of Economic and Social Geography
Topics: Economic Geography, Regional Geography, Business Geography
Keywords: Economic geography, MNC strategy, MNC subsidiaries, exploitation, FDI, greenfield investments, foreign direct investments, knowledge, knowledge transfer, local knowledge base, skill formation, dual training, dual study, Germany, USA, UK, France, Japan, China
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 23
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Economic geography research has long been concerned with the relevance of knowledge as a prerequisite for MNCs (multinational companies) in order to improve their global competitiveness. For the target country, where the subsidiaries are located, the question arises, whether the MNCs simply exploit local resources (the publicly provided skill formation system), or if they actively contribute to local skill formation.
This presentation focuses on greenfield FDIs (from the US, UK, France, Japan and China) in Germany. Germany has a complex multi-actor institutional system of skill formation (dual training and dual study). It is discussed how foreign subsidiaries (can) use this institutionally ‘thick’ system as well as how they (can) contribute to the local knowledge base.

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