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Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie

The German Journal of Economic Geography

Editor-in-Chief: Henn, Sebastian / Thomi, Walter

Managing Editor: Schäfer, Susann

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 0.607

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.315
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.380
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.439

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Internationalisation of research and development activities of small and medium-sized enterprises in Austria: Strategic drivers for spatial organisation

Susanne Meyer
  • Wien
/ Martin Berger
  • Hannover
Published Online: 2015-10-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfw.2014.0001


Research and development (R & D) activities of firms are becoming increasingly internationally organised, with a growing number of new locations in emerging economies and an increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises tapping into internationalisation. The aim of this paper is to link international R & D strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises to the spatial organisation of R & D activities. A survey of Austrian firms forms the basis of the analysis. The findings show a clear spatial concentration of foreign R & D activities of Austrian firms in Western and Eastern Europe, especially Germany. However, this general distance decay function is distorted by regions’ evolutionary trajectories and their peculiarities, such as cultural and cognitive proximity, and by the scope of R & D envisaged by the firm. The analysis reveals that knowledge-exploiting strategies are more common for activities in emerging economies, whereas knowledge-gaining and learning strategies drive the establishment of activities in countries with an advanced national innovation system. Furthermore, small and medium-sized firms tend to internationalise via international cooperation rather than via the establishment of own subsidiaries abroad. Plans for future activities show only limited change in this respect.

Keywords: R & D internationalisation; firm strategies; spatial otrganisation; Austria; small and medium- sized enterprises

Published Online: 2015-10-21

Published in Print: 2014-10-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie. Volume 58, Issue 1, Pages 1–17, ISSN (Online) 2365-7693, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfw.2014.0001, October 2015

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