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The purpose of social co-ordination mechanisms is to co-ordinate the activities of individuals and organisations specialised in the distribution of work. The paper reviews five basic types of mechanisms: market, bureaucratic, ethical, aggressive and co-operative co-ordination. Today’s world operates on the basis of a duality: international cooperation is based on nation states, in which the public administrations work according to bureaucratic coordination. However, the increasingly globalised market responds to the logic of market coordination. The article argues that in terms of understanding the working of public administration, the various coordination mechanisms are of crucial importance, especially where various mechanisms meet, such as the relationship between nation states and multinational corporations.

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Abstract

This paper is aimed at investigating determinants of recent flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) into advanced business services (ABS) in the European Union with the distinction between “old” (till 2004) and “new” member states (after 2004 extension). Special attention is put on the Visegrád countries. The factors affecting location decisions of multinational corporations were analysed at the national and regional level. The latter approach proved to be very effective due to the fact that foreign companies operating in ABS are highly unequally distributed across economies. Indeed, there are only few regions in economies attracting bulk of the operations in ABS.

The research method applied in the paper is negative binomial regression, which measures the probability of occurrence of an ABS foreign firm in an economy or a region taking into consideration its characteristics. This research combines macroeconomic, regional and firm-level data. The explanatory variables are divided into two groups: demand and supply. The main conclusion is the high significance of the supply factors. In other words, foreign companies focus on locations offering large number of skilled workers at reasonable prices. The key recommendation for governments interested in attracting ABS type of investment is to focus on the quality of human capital.

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Spillovers from foreign direct investment in Central and Eastern Europe

An index for measuring a country’s potential to benefit from technology spillovers

Society and Economy
Authors: Balázs Szent-Iványi and Gábor Vigvári

In the paper, we construct a composite indicator to estimate the potential of four Central and Eastern European countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) to benefit from productivity spillovers from foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector. Such transfers of technology are one of the main benefits of FDI for the host country, and should also be one of the main determinants of FDI incentives offered to investing multinationals by governments, but they are difficult to assess ex ante. For our composite index, we use six components to proxy the main channels and determinants of these spillovers. We have tried several weighting and aggregation methods, and we consider our results robust. According to the analysis of our results, between 2003 and 2007 all four countries were able to increase their potential to benefit from such spillovers, although there are large differences between them. The Czech Republic clearly has the most potential to benefit from productivity spillovers, while Poland has the least. The relative positions of Hungary and Slovakia depend to some extent on the exact weighting and aggregation method of the individual components of the index, but the differences are not large. These conclusions have important implications both the investment strategies of multinationals and government FDI policies.

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In this article we rely on the concept of “international new ventures” (INV), and concentrate on the analysis of two research propositions in the case of selected Hungarian INVs, based on company interviews in two selected industries, biotechnology and information technology. First, we analyse the criteria of the selection of foreign markets in the internationalisation of these firms and second, the role of networks in the internationalisation process of selected Hungarian INVs. Our results highlight the typical internationalisation pattern of targeting the largest developed foreign markets globally. In terms of the role of networks in internationalisation, we found evidence of the decisive role of networks in all cases examined. The personal network of the founder(s) was emphasised, especially in winning early clients. The scalability of the personal network-based business model was, however, questioned. The management implications of our findings suggest Hungarian INVs need to intensify their involvement in international communities supporting the growth of such companies. Areas for potential future research include comparing our findings with empirical results from other countries in Central-Eastern Europe.

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The Hungarian economy is highly integrated in global value chains (GVC). Upgrading within GVCs is a key factor of sustaining the initial developmental push GVC participation provides. The article concentrates on R&D-based upgrading opportunities and their practical implementation by multinationals’ Hungarian subsidiaries in the automotive and electronics sectors. The content and the development of R&D activities; Hungary’s locational advantages for R&D projects, and their local impact are analysed based on interviews with twenty foreign-owned companies in the two selected sectors. We show that local R&D units’ activity is multifaceted, though they feature similar upgrading trajectories. Investors’ motivations: the knowledge- and efficiency-seeking nature of their projects and the related locational advantages are examined. We demonstrate that local R&D-intensive subsidiaries have a limited local impact except for the intensive contacts with local universities — with varying content and motives on the side of the R&D units. Drawing on our findings we formulate economic policy recommendations about the ways to foster and enhance R&D-based upgrading.

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The length, the composition, the quality and the characteristics of value chains essentially determine the corporate as well as the macroeconomic performance of the economic sectors and industries. Hungary has a strong tradition in the pharmaceutical industry but its dynamising impact seems to be limited on the economy. The aim of this paper is to detect and reveal the specialties of the Hungarian pharmaceutical industry both in space and time by a value chain analysis. Our method is partly quantitative, we use an input-output analysis; and partly qualitative, relying on interviews with the representatives of pharmaceutical companies. We found that the Hungarian pharma value chain is really special, having relatively short backward and forward linkages with mainly indirect value-added contribution as well as high import content of exports. However, our company interviews revealed the fundamental differences between original and generic value chains – i.e. again a pharma industry-specific distinction. Having relatively little original and more substantial generic production in Hungary explains much of the value chain specialties, which leaves its mark on the limited impact of the industry on the national economy.

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In international business practice, subcontracting is an unbalanced form of co-operation. It can bring serious negative effects for partners from less developed countries because of the strong onesided dependence on the “developed” partner. International experience, e.g. in the maquiladora region suggests that degradation of corporate activities, low profitability, technological dependence, loss of own production and shrinking market presence of own products may characterise many firms, and even whole industries or regions. These firms, regions and industries often become isolated from the national economy. Therefore, potential positive modernisation effects may also be “locked” in the subcontracting firm not spreading in the economy.

Hungarian experience with subcontracting was somewhat different already in the 1970s and 1980s. Companies concluded subcontracts with more developed Western partners in order to gain access to up-to-date technology and know-how, new markets and new products. Many of them incorporated the acquired knowledge with success. During the 1990s subcontracting was the driving force of corporate modernisation, since former development sources (primarily state subsidies) dried up. Many firms chose the new option of adjustment strategy. The efforts of Hungarian companies to integrate into the international division of labour coincided with the substantial change of subcontracting deals on world markets. Subcontracting became a form of outsourcing and changed to a long-term, network-type of co-operation form with considerable knowledge transfer.

This study presents the results of an empirical survey. The Department of Business Economics of the Budapest University of Economics and Public Administration carried out two rounds of interviews in more than 300 companies both in 1996 and 1999. The survey revealed some new features of international subcontracting patterns and found some evidence of modernisation impacts subcontracting has on Hungarian corporate strategies.

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We test the Global Engagement (GE) hypothesis according to which the most globally engaged firms, whether multinationals or exporters, are the most innovative. The test is applied to data from 4815 Portuguese firms for the period 2002–2004 based on the 4th Community Innovation Survey for Portugal. We estimated several Knowledge Production Functions, assuming that knowledge outputs result from the combination of certain knowledge inputs with the flow of ideas coming from the existing stock of knowledge. We found that the more internationally engaged firms create more knowledge output than their domestic counterparts; indeed, the more globalised firms apply more inputs and have the opportunity to use a larger stock of knowledge. Nevertheless, the relative perceived advantage of the more internationally exposed firms is also the result of their globalised nature, and is not directly connected with knowledge inputs or information flows.

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Institutional quality is commonly cited as a reason that investment infl ows still vary across European countries, despite their economic stabilization following the tumultuous years in the early 1990s. This article tests empirically whether institutional quality has any bearing on the level of investment infl ows into selected groups of European countries. The role of institutions is assessed using Economic Freedom indices from the Heritage Foundation. We construct a panel dataset from 2000–2015 for 35 European countries to apply a fixed-effects and generalized method of moments model framework in the regression benchmark with the metrics from the Heritage Foundation. Results show that although institutional quality has some impact on the level of investment, it is less significant than expected and far less than suggested by the existing theoretical literature. Macroeconomic fundamentals matter more than do institutional factors.

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This paper aims to provide an overview of the key themes in the development of carbon accounting and auditing over the past twenty years. The evolution of the field since the Kyoto Agreement of 1997 has been divided into four stages. The need to account for and disclosure of greenhouse gas-related emissions of industrial organizations has emerged parallel to growing concerns about climate change, and international and national policy developments in the field have followed. Carbon accounting is an emerging field of business economics and covers a wide range of activities, including the measurement, calculation, monitoring, reporting and auditing of greenhouse gas emissions at organizational, process, product or supply chain levels. Various initiatives (such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol or the Carbon Disclosure Project) motivate and assist industrial organizations in accounting for and reporting their achievements in the field. Different methodologies of carbon accounting (bottom-up, top-down and hybrid) enable industrial organizations to quantify their emissions; however, some trade-offs emerge when choosing among these approaches. Carbon accounting should not be an isolated task for businesses. On the contrary, there is a strong need to integrate carbon accounting issues into different functional fields in order to achieve both corporate and climate policy goals.

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