Leaders, laggards and technology seeking strategies

R Smeets, Maarten Bosker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We analyze the conditions determining optimal technology seeking strategies for leader and laggard firms. We extend existing theories by differentiating leaders and laggards in terms of absorptive capacity and intra-firm technology transfer skills, next to productivity levels. In addition, both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as exports function as two alternative technology seeking strategies. Our theoretical results demonstrate that for a wide range of parameter settings, leaders optimally seek technology through FDI, whereas laggards do so through exports. Confronting these findings with some original exploratory industry-level analysis complemented by insights derived from case studies, we find broad overall support for our theoretical predictions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-497
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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