The battleship strategy: The complementing role of born globals in MNC's new opportunity creation

Terhi J. Vapola*, Päivi Tossavainen, Mika Gabrielsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


In the high-tech industries, new innovations affect a multinational company's (MNC's) competitive advantage. This article empirically explores why and how MNCs complement their in-house R&D by forming strategic alliance constellations with small, innovative born globals. We focus on loose, non-equity opportunity-seeking co-opetitive relationships. We call this approach the battleship strategy. The critical elements of an MNC's battleship strategy include an open innovation commercialization strategy and creation of forums for facilitating open innovation and capturing ideas generated externally. Hence, we suggest that MNCs may externalize some of their innovation activities while gaining a competitive advantage through access to open innovation. This article contributes in several ways to earlier research focusing on the strategic alliances and networks formed between MNCs and born globals by examining the relationship from an MNC's perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of International Entrepreneurship
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Alliance constellation
  • Born global
  • Global high tech industry
  • Innovation strategy
  • MNC

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