This book provides evidence on how FDI leads to knowledge and technology transfers towards domestic firms by paying attention to the role of multinational companies. The author presents a comprehensive empirical research conducted at firm-level in the Turkish automotive industry. Using a representative sample of face-to-face in-depth interviews with top-executives and a survey of top level managers of domestic suppliers, the research analyzes the existence, channels, intensity and determinants, and the kind of transfers that occur at both inter- and intra-firm level in the industry. The author contends that policies aimed at attracting FDI flows should be re-examined under the findings and insights of this study since it is a necessary – although not sufficient - condition to have an efficient absorptive capacity level and/or skilled human capital stock in order to benefit from these flows. This study has policy implications for the automotive industry as well as practical recommendations for the public institutions and top-executives in emerging country companies and multinationals in order to conceive and implement science and technology policies in supporting the knowledge transfers.
Alper Sönmez holds a PhD from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey. He was a visiting fellow at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (AEM) Cornell University. He is the recipient of 'Thesis of the Year Award' for 2012 granted by Prof. Dr. Mustafa N. Parlar Education and Research Foundation. In July 2013 he was awarded the third prize in the "Fourth Contest for Academic Studies" organized by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Since February 2013, he has been affiliated with the Department of Economics at Selcuk University, Turkey. His current research interests are foreign direct investment, economies of technology and innovation, knowledge and technology spillovers, automotive industry, MNCs, global production networks and R&D.