Industrial and Corporate Change vol:19 issue:6 pages:1867-1890
This article aims to assess whether firms’ strategies of R&D outsourcing determine changes in their internal R&D employment intensity. Four strategic decisions are investigated: to start, increase, decrease or stop outsourcing. It is found that internal R&D employment intensity decreases when firms decide to start, to increase, or to stop R&D outsourcing. However, this finding hides important differences according to the type and the location of the contractor. In general, firms prefer a mix of different types of contractors at different locations. Started outsourcing of R&D to research centers within the nation and increased R&D outsourcing to research centers within the region appear to decrease the internal R&D employment intensity. Decreasing outsourcing to national universities in another region also has a negative impact on internal R&D employment intensity. A corporate decision to stop R&D outsourcing to other firms within the nation but outside the region has a positive impact on the internal R&D employment intensity. The latter is the only effect that is not only statistically significant but is also substantial in magnitude.