The multilingual MNC provides a promising territory for enhancing the dialogue between organization theory and International Business. We draw parallels between research…
The multilingual MNC provides a promising territory for enhancing the dialogue between organization theory and International Business. We draw parallels between research on the multinational corporation and that on the multilingual corporation. Our review shows that the changing conceptualizations of the MNC toward a network model have carved space for language-sensitive research in International Business. We scrutinize this stream of research from the viewpoint of three organization theory lenses: the role of language in organizational design and architecture, in identity building and culture, and in organizational political systems, and comment on future research.
We argue for major re-orientation when applying a neo-institutional perspective within the domain of international business (IB), and in research on the multinational…
We argue for major re-orientation when applying a neo-institutional perspective within the domain of international business (IB), and in research on the multinational corporation (MNC), in particular. On the one hand, we suggest re-conceptualizing MNCs as globally oriented organizations that nonetheless remain firmly anchored in local cultural settings. On the other hand, it seems crucial for institutionalist IB literature to engage more thoroughly with the core underlying assumptions, theoretical constructs, and recent extensions of neo-institutional theory. We present an overview and systematic evaluation of the current state of institutional approaches toward the MNC, and contrast it with research foci that will emerge from a phenomenological-institutional analysis.
As multinational corporations are becoming larger and more complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to balance between the need for overall standardization in the…
As multinational corporations are becoming larger and more complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to balance between the need for overall standardization in the multinational corporation (MNC) and the need for local responsiveness. In order to allow subsidiaries to react on challenges and opportunities within their local markets, they should be granted with a certain level of decision-making autonomy. However, this freedom can facilitate a misalignment of activities among the headquarters and its subsidiaries.
This study suggests that subsidiaries should be granted with the autonomy to pursue own activities. There should, however, be limits to their independence, which should be aligned through a dialogue between the headquarters and the subsidiary. This study finds a positive correlation between strategic and operational autonomy and subsidiary performance when these are combined with a strong intra-organizational network relationship. Furthermore, the study argues that within operational autonomy it is important to distinguish between everyday activities that do not need approval from headquarters, and activities that should be decided in collaboration between the headquarters and the subsidiary. Subsidiaries that are operating in technological complex markets should be granted with the autonomy to take advantage of inter-organizational network relationships in order to exploit local knowledge and capabilities. However, this poses the risk of the subsidiaries losing connectivity to the MNC. In order to reduce this risk, the headquarters should combine such initiatives with a strong collaboration with its subsidiaries.
By establishing a strong intra-organizational network relationship, autonomy can have a positive effect on subsidiary performance.
How headquarter (HQ) and subsidiary actors end conflicts and reach agreements is an important but still under-researched question in multinational corporations (MNC…
How headquarter (HQ) and subsidiary actors end conflicts and reach agreements is an important but still under-researched question in multinational corporations (MNC) literature. This conceptual article approaches these conflict dynamics from the Convention Theory perspective. Convention Theory draws attention to justice principles (known as “order of worth”) and to the material aspects in relations between MNC actors. We offer a framework that contributes to HQ-subsidiary relations research in three ways: (1) it links conflicts to justice principles, (2) it enriches the understanding of the stability of agreements, and (3) it sheds light on the activities needed for realizing preferred arrangements.
This chapter contends that the international business (IB) and strategic management (SM) fields have many commonalities that should be considered in a turbulent globalized…
This chapter contends that the international business (IB) and strategic management (SM) fields have many commonalities that should be considered in a turbulent globalized business context. IB studies refer to the need for local integration and local adaptation whereas empirics in SM pinpoint the complementary effects of central planning and decentralized decision-making. We present and synthesize these rather field specific perspectives and try to synthesize insights from both fields in an adaptive strategy-making model including the effects of autonomous subsidiary initiatives and intended mandates from corporate headquarters. The model considers local subsidiary actions of both operational and strategic nature and we argue that it may be futile to distinguish between these effects as incremental operational responses can cumulate into more substantial changes over time with dimensions of strategic adaptation. The model provides a foundation for further considerations about how to combine central intent and direction with decentralization and autonomous initiatives in the multinational corporation.
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.
The article develops a model which conceptualizes headquarter-subsidiary relations in the multinational corporation as a multilevel discursive struggle between key…
The article develops a model which conceptualizes headquarter-subsidiary relations in the multinational corporation as a multilevel discursive struggle between key managers. At the first level, the relations are conceptualized as a discursive struggle over decisions and actions using rationalistic discourses. At the second level, they are viewed as a discursive struggle over power relations using control and autonomy discourses. Finally, underlying the first two, at the third level, headquarter-subsidiary relations are conceptualized as a discursive struggle over managers’ worldviews using cultural (pre)conceptions about “the self” and “the other.”
Based on the knowledge-based theories of the MNC, this research aims to develop and test a holistic model to analyse the relationship between the strategic knowledge…
Based on the knowledge-based theories of the MNC, this research aims to develop and test a holistic model to analyse the relationship between the strategic knowledge management (SKM) processes undertaken by subsidiaries and MNC performance. Additionally, it focuses on determining the impact that the relational context can have on knowledge creation and transfer inside the internal network of an MNC.
The research hypotheses are tested by partial least squares (PLS) with data from a sample of Spanish subsidiaries of foreign multinational firms belonging to high-technology and knowledge-intensive sectors.
The results confirm that: the implementation of a SKM by a subsidiary positively impacts on knowledge creation; the knowledge created by a subsidiary positively influences knowledge transfer, increasing the knowledge existing in the MNC; the knowledge transfer across all MNC units has a positive impact on MNC performance; the subsidiary’s relational context arises as a mediating variable between the knowledge created by a subsidiary and its transfer to the rest of the MNC.
The research proposes a holistic model that contemplates the joint interaction of the variables knowledge creation, knowledge transfer and performance. In addition, the proposed model contemplates the variable SMK of the subsidiary as the beginning of the knowledge creation-knowledge transfer-performance process. Finally, the mediating role of the relational context in the relationship between knowledge creation and transfer is analysed.
– The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the link between knowledge transfer flow and the location of a multinational corporation (MNC).
The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the link between knowledge transfer flow and the location of a multinational corporation (MNC).
The authors put forward a conceptual approach to formulate the mathematical modelling of a firm’s performance following the decision to join a regional cluster. This model builds on a recent stream of theoretical literature which has investigated the relationship between networks and the creation and diffusion of knowledge. The purpose of this model is to propose a mathematical tool to determine the long-term financial results induced by knowledge transfer from an MNC’s acquired subsidiary located in a cluster to another part of the MNC.
This study has several important research implications. First, it is a useful step towards a better understanding of how knowledge transfer effects may interact with cluster effects, while explaining subsidiary location performance. Second, it focuses on the most valuable, often highly tacit knowledge competencies.
Other investigations would certainly be welcome to improve the links between the proposed mathematical model and the efficiency of the location of an MNC in a cluster through a quantitative study.
The authors constructed this study with the aim of developing a model that would give us a better understanding of the impact of embedded knowledge on the efficiency of a localization choice made by an MNC.
To date, there has been little in the literature on the profit arising from a multinational firm’s choice of location.