Forskningen inom ekonomisk geografi är inriktad mot
Claes-Göran Alvstam, professor
Martin Henning, docent
Inge Ivarsson, professor
Curt Nestor, dr
Jimi Nilsson, doktorand
Swati Ravi, doktorand
Patrik Ström, docent
Robert Wentrup, doktorand
Alexander Wong, doktorand
Emily Xu, doktorand
The Globalization of R&D in Multinational Enterprises: A Need of New Theoretical Explanations
Inge Ivarsson & Claes G. Alvstam
In earlier research, we have shown that the large multinational enterprises (MNEs) in Sweden probably are more globalised than similar MNEs from other countries. They have now the majority of sales, production and employment outside Sweden, where especially the emerging markets in Asia have become important. These geographical shifts are also visible in the R&D activities, where half of their investments now are made abroad, including in Asia and other emerging markets. The aim of the present study is to analyse the driving mechanisms behind this new trend of R&D globalisation in MNEs, where foreign R&D units increasingly are involved in the development of new technology for global, regional and local markets, rather than in their traditional role to locally adapt the parent corporations existing technology, and where co-location with manufacturing units is a main locational determinant. Together with increasing acquisitions of companies with specialised competence, this results in a more decentralized location pattern of the R&D units among MNEs. Of special interest will be to analyse how this effects the strategically important R&D the MNEs traditionally carry out in their home country. A study of how Swedish MNEs have globalized their R&D will generate internationally unique knowledge. The overall aim with the study is to generate new empirical and theoretical knowledge within a new research area, with relevance also for decision makers in the private and public sectors.
Finansieras av Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 2015-2017
Creative destruction, destructive destruction and labour market dynamics: Longitudinal trajectories from regional crisis to new successful combinations?
From a Schumpeterian perspective, crises can be regarded as a necessary component of qualitative economic change. Despite this potentially positive outcome of such destruction, little is still known about when a regional crisis may be creative and lead to new successful development paths, or when regions become trapped in a negative development path. Using unique Swedish longitudinal micro-data that matches workers with firms and regions from the 1960s until today, this project will analyze which mechanisms lead to a so called ‘creative destruction’ for individuals and regions, and which lead to ‘destructive destruction’. The project will thus deepen our understanding about which individuals, firms and regions are able to benefit from qualitative economic change, and under which circumstances this is the case. This project will thus produce important insights on how labour market dynamics transforms the industrial portfolio of regions, and how this leads to varying preconditions for sustaining growth and welfare in different regions. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, and is a collaboration between researchers at Umeå University and School of Business, Economic and Law at the University of Gothenburg.
Finansieras av Forte 2014-2016
Gothenburg in Asia – Asia in Gothenburg
Cheryl Cordeiro & Claes G. Alvstam
This project is connected to the preparations for Gothenburg 400 year- jubilee celebration in 2021. Its purpose is to throw further light of the mutually advantageous long-term commercial and cultural relationship between the City of Gothenburg and Asia, with a particular focus on the relations in China. Not only the traditional trade and corporate relations are focused, but also various kinds of personal migration and interchange, e.g. students, food and restaurants, joint public sector projects within the sister city collaborations with Shanghai. The idea is to demonstrate how the commercial relations between Gothenburg and Asia already in the 17th and the 18th century gave rise to a spirit of openness to the world that characterizes the city also 400 years later.
Finansieras av Anna Ahrenberg Research Foundation 2014-2015
Chasing the rainbow - new services in rise of Internet of Things and its geographic ramifications
This research lie in the geography of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and its impact on developing new type of services and solutions. It explores the new phenomenon in the ICT field- the “Internet of Things (IoT)” (sakernas internet), its impact on developing new type of services and its geographic ramifications. The real-time networked context-based characters of IoT provides unique lens to better understand service research on two contemporary challenges: 1) the transformation of conceptualizing service as co-production between a client and a service provider to the multi-agent frameworks of a plurality of providers, suppliers and varied agents interacting and co-opeting with each other; 2) the value shifts from the tangibles to the combination of the tangibles and the intangibles
New innovation models in the bio-tech industry
This project focus on understanding the effects of geographic proximity on a new R&D model launched by Pharmaceutical multinationals to tap external innovation. With a significant innovation crisis in the life science industry, proactively seeking out innovative partners for research and joint development of drugs has been a common trend among Pharmaceutical multinational companies. A unique, emerging way to organize this- is through the creation of an Innovation hub within the pharmaceutical company’s premises to house small and medium sized high tech companies that specialize in related technologies to promote synergies through working in close proximity. In specific, I am making a case- study in context of AstraZeneca AB’s R&D unit, Mölndal- a pioneer in launching BioVenture Hub instituted in its own facility in Mölndal, Gothenburg. The main focus in the project is to elucidate the role of geographic proximity to facilitate social, cognitive, organizational and institutional proximity to access and foster innovation.
The internationalization of online service providers and local development in the Global South
My research is about how the Internet is altering the economic geography, and more specifically, how online service providers/internet firms are geographically and virtually internationalizing. I am particularly interested to assess how the local and global periphery will be affected by the thriving Internet economy. I position my research in the intersection of the research fields of economic geography, international business, and development studies. So far, I have been working on a couple of case study papers on the internationalization process of Swedish online service providers including Klarna, Truecaller, iZettleand Wrapp. But I am also interested in online usage in the Global South and I am currently working on a project about online usage and digital policy in Africa.
Agile Globalization - Contextual Hybridization of a Management Concept
The impact Lean concept has had on industrial production for the past 30 years, is the same impact Agile has had in the software development-industry, but in only one decade. Due to the simple fact that agile methods has led to better results, agile development has become standard in software development projects today, at least in Northern Europe and in the US. There are many conceptual similarities between Lean and Agile, both advocate an attitude towards understanding customer-value and the market, both concepts has also shown to be applicable in the creation of both products and services. Successful management concepts has a tendency to spread geographically and diffuse into other industries, Lean is a good example of this and Agile is now following a similar pattern.
The Agile concept has mainly been studied by scholars from the IT-field, while the contextual implication of Lean has been studied from both Economic Geography, International Business, and Organizational-perspectives. Studies have shown that the implementation of Lean, and other Management Concepts, can be easier or more difficult to implement in different geographical and cultural contexts; there are indications that show that the same applies to Agile. My research area focuses on what happens when a management concept, such as Agile, diffuses and hybridizes with different geographical contexts. The management implications of my research aims to aid MNCss on how to effectively implement Agile ways of working in their international organisation.