Research Summary

International Competitiveness in High Technology and Science Based Sectors

by Gary P. Pisano


This research project examines shifts in competitive capabilities of companies and countries in high technology and science based businesses.  It is particularly concerned with the potential loss of such capabilities in various industrial sectors in the US.  This research conducted in collaboration with Professor Willy Shih of Harvard Business School seeks to understand how management behavior and decisions and institutional factors shape investments in scientific and technological capability.  This project builds upon our earlier work ("Restoring American Competitiveness" Harvad Business Review, July-August 2009) where we argued that the US economy was losing its competitive edge innovation due to the growth in outsourcing of manufacturing and increasingly of R&D.  The current research project is aimed at deepening our understanding of such issues as:

1. How does location, and in particular, geographic proximity to suppliers or customers, matter to innovative capabilities?  

2. What role does manufacturing competence play in a firm's capacity for innovation?  When does outsourcing of manufacturing damage a firm's ability to innovate?

3.  How do institutional factors (e.g. capital market, corporate governance,  immigration policies, government funding of R&D, etc.) influence innovation performance? 

This results from this research will be published in a book (expectation 2011).