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MNCs In China And India

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Text Preview Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 190–202, 2008 ß 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
organizational-dynamics.com

ISSN 0090-2616/$ – see frontmatter
doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2008.02.008

Knowledge Sharing Among High-Tech
MNCs in China and India:

Invisible Barriers, Best
Practices and Next Steps
MARY B. TEAGARDEN

INTRODUCTION
The convergence of size, talent and ambition is
creating a dynamic playing field for knowledge creation and sharing in the Asia-Pacific Region. The importance of China and India is
old news. Combined, the two countries
account for over 38% of the world’s population, and both have declared innovation to be a strategic national priority. In 2006, China
announced plans to become an innovationoriented society by 2010 and a global leader in science and technology by 2050. India proclaimed itself ‘‘The world’s knowledge hub of the future’’ at a 2006 national research and

development exposition. The investment in
building the human infrastructure to realize
these aspirations is extraordinary according to
many popular sources—India graduates over
half a million scientists and engineers each
year. Even more are graduated each year in
China! Collectively, India and China graduate
about 12 times more scientists and engineers
each year than the United States. But aspirations and sheer talent are only part of the story. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into
China and India and its impact on the development of the technology sector has been remarkable. According to the Financial Times,
more than 220 multinationals and 120 Indian

JOAB MEYER

DUPRE JONES

domestic companies are currently engaged
in advanced research and development
(R&D) work in India. China’s net inflow of
FDI has increased from $1.65 billion in 1985
to nearly $55 billion in 2004. India’s net
inflows have jumped from $106 million to
$5.3 billion in this same period. This investment has been driven by the competitive advantages found in each market: China in
manufacturing and India in technology services. Much of the FDI and resulting technology transfer into these economies have originated from well-known high-tech
MNCs such as Cisco Systems Inc., Yahoo!
Inc. and Microsoft. Examples of some of the
MNCs active in India and China are provided in Table 1.
As Chinese and Indian industries have
matured, a larger portion of FDI has
migrated to high-technology activities.
Exports from China’s high-tech industry
have grown from a mere 6% in 1992 to over
30% in 2005. Service exports from India’s
information technology (IT) sector alone
increased from less than $500 million to
$17.2 billion in the same time period. It is
not surprising to learn that the U.S. has been
the largest single investor in the Indian economy. Scholars suggest the U.S. provided

Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank both those who contributed to this study by name and the numerous other executives who generously shared their time and wish to remain anonymous.
190

TABLE 1
HIGH-TECH MULTINATIONALS MOVING KNOWLEDGE INTO INDIA
Yahoo
The Internet bubble created a shortage of computer scientists in the Californian Bay Area, Yahoo’s home. Consequently, Yahoo looked beyond U.S. shores for software engineers. In 2000, they set up a small office in Bangalore, and by 2003 their headcount was less than 20 staff, with the intention to do analytics and data mining—not build products. By 2007, the Bangalore office had 1,000 computer scientists and engineers in Yahoo’s largest R&D center outside of its California headquarters and about 10% of its global workforce. Yahoo’s R&D operation in Bangalore now develops new services for Yahoo users that might be launched globally.

Cisco
Cisco, the world’s largest maker of network switches and routers, has made one of the largest R&D commitments to India, attracted in part by India’s booming growth in technology and outsourced companies. John Chambers, in a Financial... Show More

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