Upgrading Technological Capabilities by Developing Country Multinational Companies

Huaichuan Rui, Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

50 Downloads (Pure)


We study the process by which developing country multinationals (DMNCs) upgrade their technological capabilities to international levels. The case study of the Chinese telecommunication equipment manufacturer Huawei supports three conclusions. First, despite some views that DMNCs are technological laggards, we show that DMNCs can reach levels of technological sophistication of advanced economies in a compressed manner. Second, the way DMNCs improve their technological capabilities is by raising the mode of technology upgrading, moving across reengineering, replacing, refining, and recreating capabilities to reach the technological frontier. Third, managers at DMNCs raise the mode of technological upgrading by the continuous stretching of the skills and knowledge of engineers. These ideas extend the study of dynamism in capability life cycles and the creation of dynamic capabilities generated from studying ‘Western’ firms operating in countries with sophisticated innovation systems by explaining the development of technology in countries with weak innovation systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business
Subtitle of host publication"Bridging the Divide: Linking IB to Complementary Disciplines and Practice"
EditorsPatricia McDougall-Covin, Tunga Kiyak
Publisher2013 Academy of International Business
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)2078-0435
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe 55th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business - Istanbul , Turkey
Duration: 3 Jul 20136 Jul 2013


ConferenceThe 55th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business

Cite this