Intangible assets and the network structure of MNCs

John Doukas, Christos Pantzalis, Sungsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper examines the nature of the relationship between corporate intangible assets and the multinational network structure of the firm. Specifically, the question addressed in this paper is whether the nature of corporate intangible assets determines the mode of geographic expansion of the MNC. The interactive effects between the level and type of corporate intangibles and the foreign expansion path of MNCs are also examined. Based on the analysis of 362 MNCs, representing 88 three-digit SIC industries, the results of this study show that R&D-intensive MNCs maintain substantially more geographically diversified and less geographically focused operating networks than advertising-intensive MNCs. Furthermore, R&D-intensive MNCs' foreign investments create more value through geographic diversification, while non-R&D-intensive MNCs benefit the most by increasing the geographic focus of their foreign investment activities. We also document that MNCs without significant levels of technology know-how and marketing based intangible assets can benefit the most from geographic-focused rather than geographic-diversified foreign business operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of International Financial Management and Accounting
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Finance


Dive into the research topics of 'Intangible assets and the network structure of MNCs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this