The Production, Transfer and Spillover of Technology: Comparing Large and Small Multinationals as Technology Producers Academic Article uri icon


  • Multinational enterprises are, sina qua non, the world's technology producers. In this paper, we explore the concept of technology production by multinationals, focusing on three aspects: (i) technology as a firm-specific advantage, (ii) the costs of technology transfer, and (iii) technology spillovers. In each case, we outline current views and debates in the field about the role played by large multinationals in technology production. Finally, we compare MNEs with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as technology producers. We conclude that SMEs face certain constraints, due to small size and inadequate financing, that raise their costs of technology production and transfer, relative to the costs for MNEs. On the other hand, their flexibility and use of unconventional methods can create successful mini-nationals in niche markets.

published proceedings

  • Small Business Economics

author list (cited authors)

  • Eden, L., Levitas, E., & Martinez, R. J.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Eden, Lorraine||Levitas, Edward||Martinez, Richard J

publication date

  • February 1997