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The purpose of this chapter is twofold. First, to investigate how multi-domestic, multinational corporations (MNCs) can develop business models that are appropriate to…
The purpose of this chapter is twofold. First, to investigate how multi-domestic, multinational corporations (MNCs) can develop business models that are appropriate to “Bottom-of-the-Pyramid” (BOP) settings. Second, to address how they can apply elements of BOP business models across their operations. We use the case of the entry of the Norwegian mobile telecom MNC Telenor into India as the empirical context. Prior to India, Telenor had operated successfully in Asian emerging economies by adapting its business model to local conditions. However, it had only operated in the upper income tiers of these countries. In India, its late entry meant that for the first time in its history it had to move beyond these upper income tiers and develop a business model suited to BOP. We apply an economic model terminology as a means to gauging the degree of business model innovation Telenor undertook. Telenor succeeded in its development of a BOP business model by working in close partnership with local firms. Although Telenor in India was operating at BOP, a number of the resultant innovations were deemed by Telenor to be transferable to top-of-the-pyramid operations across Telenor. In order to succeed in developing BOP business models MNCs must go beyond local responsiveness and engage closely with local partners. However, transference of elements of BOP business models to other parts of the MNC is contingent on there being a centralized integrating capability.
In recent years, we can observe the emergence of firms, born both digital and global, that have disrupted existing industries. Deploying digital technologies, they have…
In recent years, we can observe the emergence of firms, born both digital and global, that have disrupted existing industries. Deploying digital technologies, they have developed innovative value chains and business models that threaten established multinational companies (MNCs). In this chapter, we examine how MNCs can and do respond to the challenge digital technologies represent. We describe the main facets of digital technologies and discus the potential these have to undermine the value chains and business models of established MNCs. In order to illustrate this, we employ longitudinal data from Telenor, a leading multinational mobile telecom company. Telenor perceives digitalization as a critical threat that in turn is causing a radical rethink about the viability of its decentralized, locally responsive value chain and business model. Our data provides insights into business models in-the-making at the top management level. We argue that the case of Telenor is generalizable to multi-domestic MNCs across a range of industries.
This paper revisits Bartlett and Ghoshal’s transnational theory of the MNC in relation to multi-domestic MNCs. We argue that the aggregate level of analysis adopted by…
This paper revisits Bartlett and Ghoshal’s transnational theory of the MNC in relation to multi-domestic MNCs. We argue that the aggregate level of analysis adopted by Bartlett and Ghoshal is unhelpful for identifying significant changes in multi-domestic MNCs at the level of discrete functions. We argue that a more disaggregated level of analysis is required. Our analysis of two cases of multi-domestic MNCs that have undertaken the global integration of their locally distributed purchasing functions indicates that while significant change to the purchasing function has occurred, at the aggregate level both MNCs remain multi-domestic. In both cases the decision to integrate local purchasing was regarded as having more obvious benefits than integrating other functions such as marketing. While both of our case multi-domestic MNCs may in future choose to integrate other functions and develop into full-fledged transnational companies we argue that there is no inevitability to this. Indeed global integration may cease with the purchasing function. A second theme in this paper is that we argue that Bartlett and Ghoshal’s transnational theory has a biased view of what constitutes effective governance mechanisms for achieving global integration, local responsiveness and worldwide learning and that it would greatly benefit from a more balanced application of hierarchical and relational governance mechanisms.
A number of prominent European multinational mobile telephony companies (MNMTCs) have their origins in state-owned monopolies that successfully undertook radical…
A number of prominent European multinational mobile telephony companies (MNMTCs) have their origins in state-owned monopolies that successfully undertook radical transformation in the late 1980s to late 1990s. Not only did they face liberalization of their domestic markets but they also moved from fixed-line telephony to mobile telephony prior to rapid expanded overseas. This study focuses on Telenor whose operations currently span the Nordic region and Southeast Asia. Like other MNMTCs, Telenor currently faces another period of radical change as global digital services providers are set to ride on the connectivity MNMTCs supply thereby reducing them to “dumb-pipes.” This study indicates that Telenor has abandoned radical transformation for “modernization” of its extant operations. For an understanding of why this second radical change is proving arduous for MNMTCs, the authors argue that there is a need to take into consideration institutional change.
The dominant focus of HRM research has been that of “strategic HRM”, that is a focus on the impact of HRM on firm performance. The authors argue that not only are the…
The dominant focus of HRM research has been that of “strategic HRM”, that is a focus on the impact of HRM on firm performance. The authors argue that not only are the cumulative results of this “dominant research orthodoxy” disappointing in terms of their external validity, but also they are of limited practical value. Further, it has failed not only in terms of its narrow firm performance-oriented agenda, but also the tenets of its agenda have contributed to serious levels of employee dissatisfaction and to the failure to deal with pressing global issues. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
In order to assess the contribution of the dominant research orthodoxy the authors analyse the 16 most cited journal articles in the field of HRM.
The authors find a predominance of US-centric studies and therefore a questionable cross-national generalizability of the dominant research orthodoxy. The use of cross-sectional data means that long-term effects cannot be gauged. The authors observe a lack of consensus on how to operationalize HRM and firm performance. National context is generally absent.
The authors show that for HRM to realize its potential for governments, media, or philanthropic agencies, HRM must abandon its restricted scope and mono-dimensional sources of inspiration.
The authors not only point to the shortcomings of the dominant research orthodoxy within HRM, but the authors point to how HRM could become significantly more “centre-staged” by addressing the actors searching for contributions to the big questions of the world – the governments, media, and philanthropic agencies.
Discusses critically the concept of numerical flexibility arguing that strategies for numerical flexibility may in part be viewed as “emergent” strategies. Argues further…
Discusses critically the concept of numerical flexibility arguing that strategies for numerical flexibility may in part be viewed as “emergent” strategies. Argues further that “emergent” strategies evolve as responses to the national institutional context. This context comprises laws and regulations which constrain firms from introducing numerical flexibility and trade unions which, acting on behalf of their members, will attempt to limit the scope of numerical flexibility. Demonstrates that since the 1980s the institutional contexts in which Norwegian and UK firms operate have diverged significantly, leading to expected differing rates of increased use of numerical flexibility. This is tested through a multivariate analysis of variations in numerical flexibility at the firm level on the basis of data from the 1995 Euronet‐Cranfield Survey.