Outward direct investment versus technology licensing: an SME perspective

Based on the example of the evolution and internationalization of a Hungarian wastewater treatment company, this paper investigates various theoretical and strategic management issues. As for the
theoretical part, Hungary’s outward direct investment performance is analyzed departing from the thesis that Hungary’s present seemingly favorable OFDI performance is just a statistical artifact. It is
only organic development, based on local entrepreneurs’ capital export that can substantiate Hungary’s present OFDI position. The strategic management issues analyzed in the paper include the sequencing of internationalization; the pitfalls related to growth; modes of foreign market entry; and the choice between FDI-based internal exploitation of technological knowledge and external technology exploitation in the form of technology licensing.

JEL codes: F23, L24, L26, O16, O33, Q57

Global Value Chains and Upgrading – Experiences of Hungarian Firms in the Machinery Industry

Global production networks and global value chains have become widespread today. In these cases firms locate the various stages of their value adding activities across different countries. The activities of global value chains form a new phase of globalization characterized by fragmented production, transfer of technology, and decreasing transport costs (Kaplinsky 2013). Developing countries are involved in these production networks, perceiving this as an important (if not the only) way to develop. The Central European countries have taken an active part in the chains of multinational firms since the nineties. The benefit derived from this participation varies across sectors and firms. In this article we analyze the experiences of Hungarian companies in the machinery industry. The structure of the article is the following. After a description of the basic research question and methodology, a literature review is provided. In the following section we introduce the companies surveyed and review their product-, process- and functional upgrading experiences. Finally, we discuss our findings and suggest some managerial and policy implications.

Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) codes: F23, M21