Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 259–282 | Cite as

Determinants of cross-national knowledge transfer and its effect on firm innovation

  • Masaaki KotabeEmail author
  • Denise Dunlap-Hinkler
  • Ronaldo Parente
  • Harsh A Mishra


This study examines the determinants of international knowledge flow. From a resource-based perspective, it evaluates the impact of cross-national knowledge transfer on firm innovative performance. Based on 56,027 US patents owned by 53 selected firms in the US-based pharmaceutical industry, the results suggest that innovative performance is a curvilinear function of the international knowledge content used by a firm to innovate. As hypothesized, it was found that at (1) low and moderate levels of international knowledge content, a firm's strategy to transfer international knowledge improves its innovative performance, and at (2) higher levels of international knowledge content, there are diminishing marginal returns to transferring knowledge from overseas.


knowledge management knowledge transfer multinational firm innovation international sourcing 



We acknowledge the three JIBS reviewers and G. Tomas M. Hult for their constructive comments throughout the revision process.


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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaaki Kotabe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Denise Dunlap-Hinkler
    • 2
  • Ronaldo Parente
    • 3
  • Harsh A Mishra
    • 4
  1. 1.The Fox School of Business and Management, Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Widener UniversityChesterUSA
  3. 3.School of Business, Rutgers UniversityCamdenUSA
  4. 4.School of Business, State University of New YorkNew PaltzUSA

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