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Progressing the Relational Perspective on MNCs: Beyond Headquarters-Subsidiary Relationships

The Future Of Global Organizing

ISBN: 978-1-78560-423-2, eISBN: 978-1-78560-422-5

Publication date: 14 October 2015



Today’s MNCs need to adopt smart ways of organizing to tap into the potential of their complex internal and external relationships. This requires MNCs to identify the relevant relationships and to develop appropriate relational skills and capabilities. Hence this chapter addresses two key questions: what kind of relational structures and qualities are conducive to value creation, and how can MNCs best develop and utilize their complex relationships?


The chapter reviews the main developments in the area of MNC organizing to date. Subsequently three examples of novel on-going research into MNC relationships are presented. Finally avenues for future research and links to related areas in international business research are discussed.


The relational perspective on the MNC is well-established. Past research, however, has mostly taken the view of the headquarters-subsidiary dyad without fully conceptualizing the multiplicity of relationships and interdependencies of individuals, groups, and units in the MNC. This chapter uncovers the relational skills required to improve MNC value creation abilities by influencing and leveraging connections among disparate units and individuals to tap their expertise and creative potential. This includes insights into abilities for managing and balancing multiple networks, abilities for mobilizing relevant network actors when driving bottom-up processes, and abilities for facilitating connections and collaboration among different actors.


This chapter advances the understanding and practice of multinational organizing. It presents novel ways to systematically address the complexities and interdependencies of relational effects on the ability of MNCs to create value.



Piaskowska, D., Tippmann, E., Ambos, T.C. and Scott, P.S. (2015), "Progressing the Relational Perspective on MNCs: Beyond Headquarters-Subsidiary Relationships", The Future Of Global Organizing (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 79-95.



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