Skip to content

Fearlessly Swimming Upstream to Risky Waters: The Role of Geographic Entry in Innovation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1413
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number7
Early online date9 Aug 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Apr 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Nov 2019


We examine the puzzling geographic pattern that shows firms entering countries with weak intellectual property rights (IPR) protection with their research and development (R&D) activities. Geographic entry into weak IPR protection countries is at odds with conventional wisdom as such an environment erodes a firm's ability to appropriate from its innovations. We offer that while the well-established practice of spreading out a firm's value chain activities across a region has important implications for value creation, what remains unaddressed is the value appropriation aspect of such activities. We introduce a multilevel theory and maintain that operating regionally through commercialization activities (downstream activities) provides complementary assets to the upstream activities – specifically R&D activities in a country within that region – with which focal firms can appropriate more from their innovations. We find that regional downstream commercialization activities can substitute for weak IPR regimes, thereby providing firms with an alternative mechanism for protecting their intellectual property in weak IPR countries.

    Research areas

  • complementarities, geographic entry, innovation, R&D, upstream and downstream activities, value appropriation



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 773 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 9/08/20

    Request copy


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups