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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2016

Kazuhiro Asakawa and Tomomine Aoki

We investigate the extent to which headquarters’ perceived knowledge about overseas R&D subsidiaries influences the level of control over them. We confirm that…

Abstract

We investigate the extent to which headquarters’ perceived knowledge about overseas R&D subsidiaries influences the level of control over them. We confirm that headquarters’ knowledge about its overseas R&D subsidiaries lowers the level of control over them. Surprisingly, however, granting legitimacy to R&D subsidiaries does not necessarily lead to a reduction in headquarters’ control. In addition, R&D subsidiaries’ legitimacy does not influence the effect of headquarters’ knowledge about them on the level of control. Although headquarters’ knowledge about R&D subsidiaries tends to grant them legitimacy, the effect of that legitimacy seems rather minimal. These findings imply that headquarters are reassured when it reduces its control over the subsidiaries based on updated knowledge about their current situations rather than on an already-established positive image of those subsidiaries.

Details

Perspectives on Headquarters-subsidiary Relationships in the Contemporary MNC
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-370-2

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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2016

Gabriela Gutierrez-Huerter O, Stefan Gold, Jeremy Moon and Wendy Chapple

This chapter investigates the antecedents to the development of the three components of subsidiaries’ absorptive capacity (ACAP): recognition, assimilation and application…

Abstract

This chapter investigates the antecedents to the development of the three components of subsidiaries’ absorptive capacity (ACAP): recognition, assimilation and application of transferred knowledge in the context of the vertical flow of social and environmental accounting and reporting (SEAR) knowledge from the HQ to acquired subsidiaries. Our analysis is based on an embedded multiple case study of a UK-based MNC, informed by 44 semi-structured interviews and capitalising on agency theory and socialisation theory. Prior knowledge is not a sufficient explanation to the development of ACAP but it is also dependent on organisational mechanisms that will trigger the learning processes. Depending on the nature and degree of the social, control and integration mechanisms, the effects of prior stocks of knowledge on ACAP may vary. Our propositions only hold for one direction of knowledge transfer. The study is based on an embedded multiple case study in one sector which restricts its generalisation. It excludes the specific relationships between the three ACAP learning processes and the existence of feedback loops. Our findings suggest that the HQ’s mix of social, control and integration mechanisms should account for initial stocks of SEAR knowledge. The contribution lies in uncovering the interaction between heterogeneous levels of prior knowledge and organisational mechanisms deployed by the HQ fostering ACAP. We address emerging issues regarding the reification of the ACAP concept and highlight the potential of agency theory for informing studies on HQ-subsidiary relations.

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Perspectives on Headquarters-subsidiary Relationships in the Contemporary MNC
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-370-2

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2020

Naveed Elahi and Pervez Ghauri

Abstract

Details

Multinational Enterprises and Terrorism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-585-1

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Roger Schweizer, Katarina Lagerström and Johan Jakobsson

The article aims to explain how the drivers of subsidiary evolution influence a multinational company's (MNC) research and development (R&D) subsidiary's evolution over time.

Abstract

Purpose

The article aims to explain how the drivers of subsidiary evolution influence a multinational company's (MNC) research and development (R&D) subsidiary's evolution over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The article draws on insights from a longitudinal comparative case study of three Swedish MNCs' Indian R&D units.

Findings

The study shows that the evolution of R&D units is a triangular showdown among headquarter assignments, local market constraints, and opportunities, and that subsidiary choice is an important driver of both mandated extension and stagnation. We summarize our findings in various propositions that emphasize different drivers over time and that highlight the strong impact of a subsidiary's understanding of the corporate immune system on the evolution of that subsidiary's R&D mandate.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing on the common limitations of a case study approach, further research is needed to test the suggested propositions with larger samples, ideally with subsidiaries in other emerging and developed markets.

Practical implications

The study illustrates the risks involved for subsidiary managers when pushing an R&D mandate-related initiative too far and provoking the corporate immune system. For headquarters management, the study highlights the importance of understanding that the development of R&D competence and capability at a subsidiary cannot be guided solely by headquarter assignments and local market characteristics; rather, the subsidiary's initiatives also need to be considered.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature on R&D internationalization by showing how the drivers of subsidiary evolution influence a subsidiary's R&D mandates over time and that subsidiary choice is an important driver of both mandated extension and stagnation.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2018

Martijn Pieter van der Steen and Sandra Tillema

The purpose of this paper is to address the impact of a multidivisional structure on the implementation of lean manufacturing. It investigates how the controls employed by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the impact of a multidivisional structure on the implementation of lean manufacturing. It investigates how the controls employed by the corporate level impact the local implementation of lean manufacturing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports on case studies in three subsidiaries in different multidivisional organisations.

Findings

The paper finds that lean manufacturing can be severely constrained by the accounting-based controls which are commonly in place in a multidivisional structure. Depending on the degree of centralisation, subsidiaries may be restricted to implementing lean tools in a fragmented way, rather than acting according to a coherent set of principles.

Practical implications

Companies may have to accept that being part of a multidivisional organisation can imply that their lean implementation is more gradual and piecemeal than they prefer. The paper proposes several ways to mitigate the constraints that may arise from incompatibilities between accounting-based controls and lean controls.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature about external constraints on production innovations, such as lean manufacturing. It highlights how the organisational context creates local conditions that may be detrimental to the implementation of lean manufacturing.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Abstract

Purpose

In this chapter, we raise awareness of the larger network in which multiteam systems (MTSs) are situated. We posit that in the complex operations conducted by military units, MTSs are not isolated entities, but rather exist in exponentially complex systems that include additional challenges for both research and practice.

Approach

An operational example involving an Army Brigade Combat Team Headquarters is presented to explain the details of the exponentially complex MTSs inherent in military operations, raise awareness about challenges that plague successful mission accomplishment, and discuss the way forward for research and practice.

Findings

The Army Brigade Combat Team Headquarters is characterized as a traditional MTS, embedded in a system of hierarchical MTSs, further embedded within a parallel structure of MTSs. Challenges inherent in these organizational structures provide direction for research and practice to address the exponentially complex meta-systems that are prevalent throughout the military.

Value

While researchers have begun to address teams existing in larger networks, or MTSs (Mathieu, Marks, & Zaccaro, 2001), much of the existing research is based on small or isolated systems. As a result, our understanding of the meta-systems in which many of these MTSs exist is limited. This chapter provides concrete examples of an exponentially complex MTS within a military environment and highlights challenges to be addressed in both research and practice.

Details

Pushing the Boundaries: Multiteam Systems in Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-313-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

Gustavo A.C. Guzmán

This paper examines a new model of production in a developing nation, the Electronics Contract Manufacturing Industry. It explores issues related to manufacturing…

Abstract

This paper examines a new model of production in a developing nation, the Electronics Contract Manufacturing Industry. It explores issues related to manufacturing management, competence building, organisation and implementation of manufacturing best practice. It argues that the understanding of both contextual institutional factors and soft operational issues is crucial for implementing manufacturing practices that support competitiveness building.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

John Saunders and Ton Hong Chong

Intercultural trade always requires special efforts. The authors of this article lay down some guidelines for Western dealings with companies in China and Japan, and bring…

Abstract

Intercultural trade always requires special efforts. The authors of this article lay down some guidelines for Western dealings with companies in China and Japan, and bring out points to note for both sides.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Case study
Publication date: 26 September 2012

Joakim Kembro

Humanitarian logistics, aid response.

Abstract

Subject area

Humanitarian logistics, aid response.

Study level/applicability

Master/advanced level; courses in: humanitarian logistics; port operations and management; supply chain management and logistics.

Case overview

Recently, the humanitarian organization Global Food Aid (GFA) has received criticism for slow response to the on-going drought in East Africa. One of the reasons is the long lead times to transport and distribute food. Therefore, GFA has launched a project called “Strategic stock” where food will be pre-positioned in strategic locations around the world. Because of its importance as a gateway for East Africa, the Port of Mombasa has been selected as the pilot project. Headquarters of GFA has engaged a team of logistics and warehouse experts to plan, run and evaluate the pilot project in Mombasa.

Expected learning outcomes

Through this case, the students (who take on the role of the experts) will gain knowledge in a wide range of areas. First, they will gain a thorough insight to coordinating a port operation in one of the major ports in Africa. Second, the case increases the understanding of working with logistics in a humanitarian aid context. Third, the students will learn how to work with logistics both on a strategic level (planning the implementation of strategic stock) and on an operational level (handling the different events that occur throughout the case). There is also a learning element related to risk management.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available.

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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2016

Ulf Andersson, Suma Athreye and Georgios Batsakis

We argue that a foreign-based R&D subsidiary of a multinational enterprise (MNE) can potentially source knowledge from three diverse knowledge networks, namely (i…

Abstract

We argue that a foreign-based R&D subsidiary of a multinational enterprise (MNE) can potentially source knowledge from three diverse knowledge networks, namely (i) external knowledge network of the home country, (ii) external knowledge network of the host country, and (iii) internal (MNE) knowledge network. Drawing on the relative costs and benefits associated with the process of synergistic knowledge, this study examines whether a substitutive or a complementary relationship exists when two of the aforementioned networks collaborate in order to generate new knowledge at the subsidiary level. Our study’s sample is based on a survey questionnaire addressed to foreign-based R&D subsidiaries of Fortune 500 companies. We assess the existence of complementarity/substitutability using the “production function approach.” Our results indicate that a complementary relationship exists between external knowledge network of the host and the home country, as well as between external knowledge network of the host country and internal knowledge network. On the other hand, external knowledge network of the home country and internal knowledge network form a substitutive relationship. Our study offers a more comprehensive view of the diverse sources/knowledge networks that R&D subsidiaries are sourcing knowledge from when compared to existing research. We also specify and account for the costs/benefits involved in knowledge sourcing and thereby detect possible substitution/complementarity between different sources of knowledge. So far, there has been limited to nonexistent research into the diversity of knowledge networks of R&D subsidiaries and the examination of potential substitutabilities and complementarities. Hence our empirical study contributes to the development of this particular research stream.

Details

Perspectives on Headquarters-subsidiary Relationships in the Contemporary MNC
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-370-2

Keywords

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