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Chapter 9 Subsidiary Strategic Evolution in China

Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm

ISBN: 978-1-78052-114-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-115-2

Publication date: 20 October 2011


Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the evolution in the local, global and multinational network embeddedness of foreign subsidiaries in China

Methodology – The study focuses on Sino-Belgian subsidiaries in China. Factor analysis was used to determine the local responsiveness, global integration and multinational network embeddedness of firms. Next cluster analysis was carried out to classify groups of subsidiaries, while ANOVA analysis assessed their different characteristics.

Findings – Although most firms remain the same type of subsidiary throughout the period of 1995–2005, the most prevalent trajectory of strategic evolution by multinational subsidiaries in China is by increasing the integration in the multinational network before gaining more local embeddedness towards a more active role within the multinational network.

Research implications – Changes in the strategic setting and operations of MNEs occur over time because of the dynamic patterns and changing interactions of firm- and country-related factors and policies, especially when the host economy is involved in a rapid transformation process, such as China. Further research could focus on the determinants of strategic evolution.

Originality – This is one of the first chapters to analyse the changing roles of subsidiaries, in particular in an emerging economy.



De Beule, F. (2011), "Chapter 9 Subsidiary Strategic Evolution in China", Verbeke, A., Tavares-Lehmann, A.T. and Van Tulder, R. (Ed.) Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 199-222.



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