By using a case study approach this thesis studies the interactions of a foreign company with a developing system of innovation and the possible affects on the technical capabilities in the system.
This research question springs out of combining two strands of theory, namely the National Systems of Innovation approach and the technology gap approach to technological and economic development. Both these approaches focus on the importance of learning in order to maintain growth (in the system approach to increase innovativeness, in the gap approach to technologically catch up with developed countries). Combining these two strands lead to one main assumption in this thesis: Foreign companies (being results of foreign direct investments) will often hold a central position in the innovation system of a developing country. Due to the links with the global company and the naturally higher resources for knowledge creation (in the conglomerate as aggregate) such companies are more likely than not to obtain favourable knowledge positions compared to their surroundings. Foreign direct investments do of course present financial gains to the host country, but more important is the potential for knowledge spillovers which in turn may increase the technological capabilities of the domestic system of innovation.
The empirical findings in this paper suggest that this particular company has virtually no direct connections with the Turkish system of innovation. There was no cooperation with either competitors or knowledge producers in order to improve product and technology development. There is little knowledge spillovers resulting from company employees' changing of jobs. No consolotary services are offered to Turkish universities, and the main proportion of further education is performed abroad. The employs no Turkish suppliers, and the linkage to its customers is mostly done on a financial reporting and payig basis. The analysis of this paper thus concludes that the company due to its size is a rather central actor in the Turkish economy, but due to its network linkages a rather weak actor in the Turkish system of innovation.
This discussion of this thesis discusses potential policy measures that could amend the weaknesses discovered in the analysis. The measures are grouped in enabling and motivating measures: but without giving a full answer to what group fits most closely to the researched company.