Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 26 , No. 1

[ Article ]
Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 1-32
Abbreviation: SJE
ISSN: 1225-0279 (Print)
Print publication date 28 Feb 2013
Received 20 Nov 2012 Revised 26 Jan 2013 Accepted 01 Feb 2013

Blurred Boundaries between Firms, and New Boundaries within (Large Multinational) Firms: The Impact of Decentralized Networks for Innovation
John Cantwell
Distinguished Professor (Professor II), Rutgers Business School, 1 Washington Park, Newark, NJ 07102-3122, USA, Tel: +1-973-353-5050, Fax: +1-973-353-1664 (cantwell@business.rutgers.edu)

JEL Classification: D21, F23, L14, O32


Changes in the environment for international business activities have facilitated more open networked formations, both within and between firms. The spread of more open networks for innovation is increasingly blurring the boundaries between firms. Yet in contrast, more open relationships within large multinational corporations imply that some new boundaries are being correspondingly erected between different sub-units of the firm. A critical feature of more open structures is that internal and external networks have become more closely connected to one another.

Keywords: Theory of the firm, Internal and External networks, Open networks, Innovation, Open innovation, Multinational corporations


I am grateful for the comments and suggestions of Keun Lee, David Mowery, and participants in the CAS workshop on Innovation in Firms, held in Oslo, and in the Asia Pacific Innovation Conference, held in Seoul.

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