Offshoring and Outsourcing of R&D and Business Activities in Canadian Technology Firms


  • Ajax Persaud University of Ottawa
  • Joseph Floyd University of Ottawa



offshoring, outsourcing, research and development, manufacturing, Canada, business strategies, manufacturing firms


A substantial amount of empirical research has been conducted on the offshoring/outsourcing practices of U.S., European, South Korean, and Japanese technology firms. However, there is very little research evidence on the strategies of Canadian firms. This leaves a gap in the literature that we aim to fulfill by providing empirical evidence of the practice among Canadian manufacturing firms. The evidence presented is based on t he 2009Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy conducted by Statistics Canada.  This survey provides the largest and most comprehensive data in Canada on this topic.  The data suggest that only a very small proportion of Canadian manufacturing firms offshore/outsource their R&D and other business activities and only a select few countries. The primary motivations for Canadian firms to offshore/outsource their R&D and business activities are to reduce costs and to gain access to new markets. The managerial, policy, and research implications of the results are discussed.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Ajax Persaud, University of Ottawa

Ajax Persaud obtained a Ph.D from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He is an Associate Professor in Marketing and Innovation at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His research areas are technology management, entrepreneurship, electronic business and marketing.  He has published numerous refereed articles and conference papers in international peer-reviewed conference and journals including IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, International Journal of Technology Management, and Engineering Management Journal. He has won several awards for teaching and research excellence.

Joseph Floyd, University of Ottawa

Joseph Floyd is a graduate student at the Telfer School of Management studying for his Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His research focuses is on the internationalization strategies of technology firms.


ATHUKORLA, P., Kohpaiboon, A. (2010). Globalization of R&D by US-based multinational enterprises. Research Policy, 39(10), 1335-1347.

BALDWIN, J., Gu, W. (2008). Basic trends in outsourcing and offshoring in Canada. Statistics Canada, Ottawa.

BARDHAN, A.D. (2006). Managing globalization of R&D: Organizing for offshoring innovation. Human Systems Management, 25, 103-114

CALATONE, R., Stanko, M. (2007) Drivers of outsourced innovation: An exploratory study. Product Innovation Management, 24, 230-241

CANTWELL. J., Molero., J. (2003). Multinational enterprises, innovative strategies and systems of innovation. Edward Elgar Publishing, Massachusetts.

DE MEYER, A. (1993). Internationalizing R&D improved a firm’s technical learning. Research Technology Management, 36(4), 42-49.

DFAIT, (2011). Canada's state of trade: trade and investment. Retrieved from [Accessed February 15, 2013]

DUNNING, J. H. (1994). Multinational enterprises and the globalization of innovatory capacity. Research Policy, 23(1), 67-88.

FRANS, C., Hang, C., Dan, Y. (2007) Management of outsourcing R&D in the era of open innovation. The 5th International Symposium on Management of Technology, 252-256.

GASSMANN, O. (1998). Organization of industrial R&D on a global scale. R & D Management, 28(3), 147-161.

GASSMANN, O. (2002). Market versus technology drive in R&D internationalization: Four different patterns of managing research and development. Research Policy, 31(4), 569-588.

GERIBADZE, A., Reger, G., (1999). Globalization of R&D: Recent changes in the management of innovation in transnational corporations. Research Policy, 28(2), 251-274.

GRIMPE, C., Kaiser, U. (2010). Balancing internal and external knowledge acquisition: the gains and pains from R&D outsourcing. Journal of Management Studies, 47(8), 1483-1508.

HOWELLS, J. (1999) Research and technology outsourcing. Carfax, 11, 17-29.

KOGUT, B., Zander, U. (1992). Knowledge of the firm, combinative capabilities, and the replication of technology. Organization Science, 3(3), 383-397.

KUEMMERLE, W. (1997). Building effective R&D capabilities abroad. Harvard Business Review, 75(2), 69-85.

LEWIN, A., Massini, S., Peeers, C. (2009). Why are companies offshoring innovation? The emerging global race for talent. Journal of International Business Studies, 40, 901-925.

LOUAR, P., Martin, A. (2012). Small and medium-sized enterprises and their attitudes towards offshoring/outsourcing and innovation. International Business Research, 5(6),14-23.

LOVE, J., Roper, S. (2002). Internal versus external R&D: A study of R&D choice with sample selection. International Journal of the Economics of Business, 9(2), 239-255.

MUNN-VENN, T., Mitchell, P. (2005). Don't Overlook the "MEs" Medium-Sized Firms Show the Way to Global Success. Conference Board of Canada, Ottawa.

QUINN, J. B. (2000). Outsourcing innovation: The new engine of growth. MIT Sloan Management Review, 41(4), 13-28.

PERSAUD, A., Kumar, V., Kumar, U. (2002). Managing Synergistic Innovations Through Corporate Global R&D. Praeger Publishers, Westport.

SANTOS, J., Doz, Y., Williamson, P. (2004). Is your innovation process global? MIT Sloan Management Review, 45(4), 31-37.

STANKO, M. A., Calantone, R. J. (2010). Controversy in innovation outsourcing research: Review, synthesis and future directions. R&D Management, 41(1), 8-20.

STATISTICS CANADA. (2009). Survey of innovation and business strategy. [Retrieved on February 15, 2013]

SYDOR, A. (2007). The rise of global value chains. Canada’s State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update – 2007, Ottawa: Minister of PublicWorks and Government Services Canada, 47-70.

TREFLER, D. (2008). Policy responses to the new offshoring: Think globally, invest locally. Industry Canada Working Paper Series, Nov. 25, 2008.

ZEDZWITZ, M., Gassmann, O., Boutellier, R. (2004). Organizing global R&D: Challenges and dilemmas. Journal of International Management, 10(1), 21-49.




How to Cite

Persaud, A., & Floyd, J. (2013). Offshoring and Outsourcing of R&D and Business Activities in Canadian Technology Firms. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 8(3), 1–12.



Research Articles

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.