Attention green aliens? Activities of multinational enterprises in host countries and eco-innovation diffusion

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This paper investigates the extent to which eco-innovation activities in multinational
enterprises (MNEs) in a host country affects local firms. In the attention-based view,
the organizational attention field is significant for innovation. By analyzing the Korean
Innovation Survey and patent data, we find that as more foreign MNEs conduct eco-innovation
locally, attention to environmental issues increases in local firms. Their attention field particularly benefits from the presence of foreign MNEs whose country-of-origin is close to the host country or who have a long-term presence in the host country. A larger attention field then improves the likelihood of local firms successfully implementing eco-innovation and can accelerate eco-innovation implementation; however, this effect is observed only in large local firms and thus able to redeploy abundant internal resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
Early online date1 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Eco-innovation diffusion;
  • Multinational enterprise (MNE)
  • Attention-based view
  • Attention field
  • Psychic distance

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