Britta Glennon

Britta Glennon
  • Assistant Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2021 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: innovation, technological change, immigration, internationalization of R&D

Links: CV, Personal Website


Britta Glennon in as Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School. She did her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and previously received a M.P.P in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Economics and East Asian Studies from Cornell University.

Britta studies innovation and technological change, with a special focus on the changing structure of the R&D activities of multinational firms. Multinational firms account for the majority of innovation investment worldwide. However, while innovation within these firms historically has been spatially concentrated in the home country, that concentration has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. U.S. multinational foreign R&D expenditure has grown seven-fold on both the intensive and extensive margins since the 1990’s.

Despite this increase, the geographic spread of multinational R&D still lags far behind multinational production. This is at least in part due to the importance of human capital to their operations and the directly associated challenges of transferring tacit knowledge across geographic distance. Her research considers how R&D-performing multinationals address these challenges through questions such as: (1) how do constraints on high-skilled human capital flows affect the offshoring of skilled labor and innovative activities? (2) what are the consequences of separating manufacturing and R&D when production but not R&D is moved abroad? (3) what is the impact of rising R&D investment in key emerging markets on the scale and scope of R&D activity at home? (4) what has driven the recent growth in foreign R&D, and what has affected the direction of this growth? (5) how will the changing foreign R&D landscape affect multinational productivity?

Most of her research focuses on the role of multinationals in the global innovative landscape. But universities, government agencies that fund research, and the individual inventors receiving this funding also play crucial roles in this same landscape. A separate strand of her research considers this other piece of the innovative process, and in particular considers what kinds of research funding will lead to such transformative science. The work examines the extent to which funding acts to change the organizational context within which research takes place and to what extent that then stimulates transformative science.

Continue Reading


  • Lee G. Branstetter, Britta Glennon, J. Bradford Jensen (2019), The IT Revolution and the Globalization of R&D, Innovation Policy and the Economy, 19 (1), pp. 1-37.

  • Lee G. Branstetter, Britta Glennon, J. Bradford Jensen (2019), The Rise of Global Innovation by US Multinationals Poses Risks and Opportunities, Peterson Institute Policy Brief, 19 (9).

  • Britta Glennon (Working), How Do Restrictions on High-Skilled Immigration Affect Offshoring? Evidence from the H-1B Program.

  • Lee G. Branstetter, Jong-Rong Chen, Britta Glennon, Chih-Hai Yang, Nikolas Zolas (Working), Does offshoring manufacturing harm innovation in the home country? Evidence from Taiwan and China.

  • Lee G. Branstetter, Britta Glennon, J. Bradford Jensen (Working), Knowledge Transfer Abroad: The Role of US Inventors within Global R&D Networks.

  • Britta Glennon, Julia Lane, Matthew Ross, Raviv Murciano-Goroff (2018), Money for Something: The Link between Research Funding and Innovation,.

  • Lee G. Branstetter, Britta Glennon, J. Bradford Jensen, “The Importance of doing our BIT: The Economic Potential of a U.S.- China Bilateral Investment Treaty”. In U.S.-China Cooperation in a Changing Global Economy, Peterson Institute Policy Brief 17-1, edited by Posen, A. and Ha, J. (2017)


Past Courses


    Most successful firms go global in some way; why do they go global, and how do they navigate across international borders? This is the question at the core of multinational management. In this course, you will learn about topics such as how firms choose where and how to invest abroad, how shifts in the politicaleconomy landscape affect firm strategy, and how firms respond to restrictions on the movement of both physical and human capital across borders. The class utilizes economics and global strategy frameworks to provide students with an understanding of how to formulate multinational firm strategy. The lessons from the class will be valuable across a wide range of careers, including management consulting, investment analysis, or entrepreneurship. Fulfills the Global Economy, Business, and Society requirement.

Awards and Honors

  • Finalist, INFORMS/Org Science Dissertation Proposal Competition, 2018


Latest Research

Lee G. Branstetter, Britta Glennon, J. Bradford Jensen (2019), The IT Revolution and the Globalization of R&D, Innovation Policy and the Economy, 19 (1), pp. 1-37.
All Research

Awards and Honors

Finalist, INFORMS/Org Science Dissertation Proposal Competition 2018
All Awards