This paper aims to identify antecedents for, and consequences of, low-intensity inter-unit conflict in multinational corporations (MNCs). Inter-unit conflict in MNCs is an important and well-researched theme. However, while most studies have focused on open conflict acknowledged by both parties, much less research has dealt with low-intensity conflicts. Still, low-intensity conflicts can be highly damaging – not least because they are rarely resolved.
The authors used a qualitative approach to understanding low-intensity conflict relying on 170 interviews in four Danish MNCs.
They describe consequences of low-intensity conflict and identify three types of actions by headquarters’ representatives that could lead to the development of low-intensity conflicts, namely, ignoring, bypassing and educating.
Very few studies have dealt with low-intensity conflict – not least in international business research. The authors argue that the study of low-intensity conflict in MNCs can provide relevant, novel knowledge of MNC functioning.
Lauring, J., Andersen, P.H., Storgaard, M. and Kragh, H. (2017), "Low-intensity conflict in multinational corporations", Multinational Business Review, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 11-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/MBR-04-2015-0013
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