Honeywell Inc. and Global Research Development
The Honeywell Technology Center (HTC) is the central R&D organization for Honeywell, Inc. almost 40% of Honeywell sales come from outside the U.S. and this figure is expected to reach 45% or more by 2000. However, HTC, based in Minneapolis, is a long distance from international markets. Within HTC there is a growing consensus that HTC has to become more international to support Honeywell's growth opportunities. But, HTC management is far from consensus on how to internationalize R&D. Can the HTC culture be replicated outside the United States? How quickly should HTC move? Who will manage new R&D organizations? How will these organizations be funded? Should international R&D sites be centers of excellence for specific technologies, or should they be application centers using technology developed in Minneapolis, or both?
This case explores the issues associated with international R&D, technology transfer, and the trade-offs necessary to implement a global technology strategy. As a value chain support activity, the issues surrounding R&D and global integration versus local responsiveness are very different than those associated with primary activities such as manufacturing and sales. The case can also be used to illustrate the nature and difficulties of international technology transfer.