Keywords: Foreign Direct Investments; Germany and Italy; Innovation Policy in the Multinational Enterprises; Emilian Economy.
The aim of the paper is to review the factors quoted to explain the German success in exporting manufacturing goods and to discuss if these factors can be attributed also to characteristics of the firms. In this case they can be transplanted to the subsidiaries of the German enterprises abroad, particularly in other developed countries. It is claimed these subsidiaries are more likely to reproduce the German characteristics if some main management functions are decentralized. The paper utilizes the results of a questionnaire to the German subsidiaries in Emilia-Romagna to argue they benefit of a large level of autonomy from the headquarter in the firm functions, particularly in the case of the r&d policy, so pursuing an innovation strategy.