Coronavirus update

Important information:
All on-campus visits and events are cancelled or postponed until 1 June. Virtual events will be running as normal unless otherwise stated.  For the latest updates visit our coronavirus information page. Please note that some of our on campus events may be replaced by virtual events - please check with the event organiser listed against each event.

(Re)Combination for Innovation: How Chinese firms and Western MNEs Collaborate to Innovate

University House - Room 205
Thursday 11th February 2016 (12:00-13:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

This event is part of the GVC Lunchtime Seminar Series.

Speaker: Professor Simon Collinson (Birmingham Business School)


After completing his D.Phil. at SPRU (Sussex), Simon Collinson joined the University of Edinburgh as a Senior Research Fellow and Assistant Director of the Japanese-European Technology Studies (JETS) institute in 1991. During this period he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) in Tokyo (in 1997), on a joint grant from the UK Royal Society and the Japanese Science and Technology Agency. Seven years later he joined Edinburgh University Management School, as a Senior Lecturer teaching International Business.

In 2000 Simon joined Warwick Business School (WBS) and became Academic Director of the full-time MBA progamme and subsequently Associate Dean (MBAs). In 2004 he was a Visiting Professor at the Kelley School of Business at the University of Indiana, working with Alan Rugman, and a visiting Senior Research Fellow at the AGSM (NSW and Sydney). In 2005 he was awarded the Lead Ghoshal Fellowship at AIM (the Advanced Institute of Management), jointly funded by the ESRC and the EPSRC. This supported a large-scale survey of western multinational firms in China, focused on innovation capability development in IJVs and collaborative projects. He was a member of the Board of Directors for AIM until the end of the AIM programme in December 2011. During this period he was also Head of the Marketing and Strategy group at WBS, before moving into the role of Deputy Dean.

In 2011 Simon was appointed Guangbiao Guest Professor of Zhejiang University and became a member of the Council of the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council). He also joined the Council of the British Academy of Management (BAM). In October 2011 Simon was appointed to a Chair in International Business and Innovation at Henley Business School, University of Reading and joined Birmingham Business School as Dean in October 2012.


Based on a survey of 320 firms and 30 in-depth case studies in mainland China we examine how foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) and local partners, including suppliers, customers and competitors improve their innovation capabilities through collaboration. While MNEs tend to provide ‘firm-specific advantages’ such as technologies, brands or transferrable management practices, local firms tend to provide access to local suppliers, customers or government networks. These ‘location-specific advantages’ help reduce the ‘liability of foreignness’ for MNEs.

In some cases balanced reciprocity underpins an integration of assets, capabilities and knowledge resulting in highly successful innovation outcomes. These include new products or services, new technologies or production processes which give rise to competitive advantages. Some of these are ‘location-bound’ and only effective in the domestic market context, while others are transferrable to foreign markets. The findings help us understand the impacts of collaborative innovation on the evolution of global value chains which connect Western MNEs and Chinese firms. 

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities