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This paper aims to unpack the organization of an multinational enterprise (MNE) and confront its meso‐level complexity of structures and strategies. It seeks to uncover…
This paper aims to unpack the organization of an multinational enterprise (MNE) and confront its meso‐level complexity of structures and strategies. It seeks to uncover how the glocalization process unfolds, which are the mechanisms at its base and the outcomes in terms of stability, convergence or divergence in strategies and structures.
Through a case study research design, the paper investigates strategic change in an Italian MNE from 2005 to 2011. In 2008 and 2010, extensive data on organizational configurations were also collected. Overall, the paper analyses the glocalized blending of corporate and subsidiary strategies and organizational structures. Attention is also paid to the cognitive, political and institutional mechanisms that accounted for this process before and during the late‐2000 financial crisis.
Glocalization, largely interpreted as an in‐between process compromising between homogeneous global standards and heterogeneous local traditions, unfolds as a beyond process leading to divergent outcomes outside the poles of an imagined local‐global continuum. The mechanisms driving strategic change partly differ from those usually described in strategic change literature emphasizing managerial cognition. Sensegiving from the center is found to be proactive during economic expansion and reactive during economic downturn. Following change initiation, cognitive mechanisms are “taken over” by political and institutional ones. Paradoxically, local societal‐specific patterns of organization and strategy were preserved due to the actions of powerful central HQ actors.
A theory of institutional‐bound strategic change within MNEs is outlined.
Kostova, Roth and Dacin called in 2008 for the advancement of a theoretical conception of the multinational corporation (MNC) that takes into account both power…
Kostova, Roth and Dacin called in 2008 for the advancement of a theoretical conception of the multinational corporation (MNC) that takes into account both power relationships among actors and the structure of its internal institutional field. While micro-political scholars of MNCs have started to answer the former part of the call regarding power, the second part has not been thoroughly addressed yet. Furthermore, the agentic aspects typical of power games and the structural aspects characterizing institutional fields have not been fully combined in a multi-level perspective of MNCs so far. Leaning on Bourdieu, we suggest an answer to the pending call. We theorize the MNC as a playing field of power emerging around the issue of finding a meta-rate of conversion of the actors’ capitals constituted in national fields. We conceive such issue field in a dynamic state due to the constant entry and exit of new players (e.g. through mergers, acquisitions or divestitures). This results in the need to continuously test the validity of exchange rates. The role of the metainstitutional field level of the MNC as a global category is also discussed.