rkl3d, llc Sponsored Projects: 2013-2014

How do European International Contractors Adapt to the Changing Project Environments?

PI: Young Hoon Kwak

Brief Description:
The aim of this research is to better understand how European international contractors sustain their competitive advantages despite multiple challenges in both domestic and global market.

This study explores a theoretical framework to examine international general contractor’s strategies by looking into market environments, firm resources, and firm capabilities. In addition, actual cases of successful global strategy formulation and implementation of European international contractors that adapt to the new environment are examined, analyzed, and discussed.

This study provides insights to the engineering and construction industry to consider diverse strategies including foreign direct investment and cross-border mergers and acquisition in the ever-changing global project environments.

Legal Origins, Democracy, and Environmental Technology Innovation: A Cross-Country Examination

PI: Jorge Rivera

Brief Description:
Environmental technology innovation has long been characterized as offering the best prospect for responding to environmental needs with minimal impact on business. Yet despite this potential “win-win” for businesses, the production of this innovation is far from even across countries.

In order to shed light on the drivers of ET innovation, researchers have examined a variety of policy instruments. However, evidence regarding the effectiveness of specific policy instruments in stimulating ET innovation has been inconclusive. In this study, we propose that missing from this emerging body of literature has been sufficient attention to the broad legal and political institutional contexts from which ET innovation may also emanate.

Specifically, we argue that the legal origins of a country affect its orientation toward ET innovation activity. Further, we argue that the level of democracy should positively moderate these relationships. Thus, in this study we propose to examine the following research question: how does national institutional environment (i.e. legal, political) influence the development of ET innovations? To test our proposed relationships, we plan to use panel logit and negative binomial regression techniques and draw wind-energy patent data from The National Bureau of Economic Research’s (NBER) database of all patents granted in the United States between 1976-06.

Transparency in Foreign Direct Investment: Theory and Evidence from Petroleum-Reserve Acquisitions

PI: Robert Weiner

Brief Description:
Transparency in multinational enterprises (MNEs) is widely viewed by policy makers as necessary for alleviating the challenges of poor governance, weak institutions, and corruption common in developing countries. These problems are acute in oil-rich countries, a phenomenon known as the “resource curse.”

Recent rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in the United States, and similar laws around the world, seeks to mandate project-level disclosures by extractive industry firms listed on stock exchanges. These measures have proven highly contentious among MNEs, who contend that mandating disclosure of proprietary information increases their risks abroad, especially when competing against foreign state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Yet, scholarly work on MNE transparency is limited. Theory does not yield consistent predictions, and little empirical work has examined transparency in foreign direct investment, focusing instead on cross-country comparisons of domestic firms.

To address these gaps, this project seeks to extend the literature in two ways. First, we will explicitly examine MNE transparency with respect to foreign investments, which we term investment transparency. Second, we expand beyond prior work that focuses solely on publicly traded companies to understand how SOEs differ from traditional MNEs in regards to transparency decisions. The implications of this project should be of interest to US policy makers, and MNE managers competing against increasingly-internationalized SOEs.