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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.

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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

Abstract

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Pawan Budhwar, Andy Crane, Annette Davies, Rick Delbridge, Tim Edwards, Mahmoud Ezzamel, Lloyd Harris, Emmanuel Ogbonna and Robyn Thomas

Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their…

Abstract

Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their workforce – not even, in many cases, describing workers as assets! Describes many studies to back up this claim in theis work based on the 2002 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference, in Cardiff, Wales.

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Management Research News, vol. 25 no. 8/9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2014

Yen-Chen Ho

The purpose of this paper is to argue that multilateral knowledge transfer emerges from two lines of thinking in the international business (IB) literature – the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue that multilateral knowledge transfer emerges from two lines of thinking in the international business (IB) literature – the exploitation of multinationality and the contributory role of subsidiaries – and links three levels of analysis – headquarters, knowledge-creating subsidiaries and host-country environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Multilateral knowledge transfer, both vertical and horizontal, is considered in this paper as a cross-level phenomenon that emerges as a result of beneficial interdependencies between headquarters, knowledge-creating subsidiaries and their host-country environments. The paper also discusses the concept of embeddedness, which both lines of thinking draw upon, and argues that the multinational enterprise (MNE) headquarters can actually moderate both internal and external embeddedness through global strategy and organizational design.

Findings

By putting forward an integrative cross-level interdependency framework that incorporates insights from the R&D internationalization literature and the subsidiary evolution literature, this paper delineates multilateral knowledge transfer as an MNE strategy to systematically transform and integrate knowledge created at the subsidiary-level for the global competitive advantage at the MNE group-level.

Originality/value

Such a perspective reemphasizes the multi-level nature of IB studies and provides new opportunities for theoretical and empirical development as did the internalization theory which has theorized the conventional headquarters-to-subsidiaries knowledge transfer more than 40 years ago.

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The Multinational Business Review, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Anne Jacqueminet and Lilach Trabelsi

Studies of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and stakeholder engagement have recently gained traction in the global strategy field. However, they have mostly developed…

Abstract

Studies of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and stakeholder engagement have recently gained traction in the global strategy field. However, they have mostly developed as parallel streams, thereby limiting the cross-fertilization between global strategy research and stakeholder theory. We believe that because the CSR context in essence calls for the simultaneous participation of a large and heterogeneous set of local and global stakeholders, it requires a novel theorizing of multinational enterprises’ (MNEs’) worldwide practice implementation. Thus, we develop a series of propositions in the context of CSR to highlight the role stakeholders play in MNE subsidiaries’ implementation of initiatives, depending on the complex institutional pressures that they undergo, their distance from the parent’s home country, and their level of network embeddedness. We focus in particular on the role of stakeholder demands alignment in subsidiaries’ CSR implementation. Our conceptual propositions are enriched by the consideration of illustrative data on initiatives undertaken by Iberdrola from 2008 to 2014.

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Sustainability, Stakeholder Governance, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-316-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2018

Manami Suzuki, Naoki Ando and Hidehiko Nishikawa

The purpose of this paper is to address intra-organizational communication between parent firms and foreign subsidiaries and examine how such communication effectively…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address intra-organizational communication between parent firms and foreign subsidiaries and examine how such communication effectively facilitates knowledge sharing between parent firms and their subsidiaries.

Design/methodology/approach

This study approaches the relationship between intra-organizational communication and the effectiveness of knowledge sharing from the viewpoint of foreign subsidiaries. The data have been collected from local managers in subsidiaries operating in Japan using a questionnaire survey. The hypotheses are tested by employing a robust regression model.

Findings

This study finds that intra-organizational communication between parent firms and foreign subsidiaries is positively associated with the effectiveness of knowledge sharing. The benefits from intra-organizational communication are greater for service firms than for manufacturing firms. Subsidiaries established through acquisition are found to enjoy a greater positive effect from intra-organizational communication than those established through greenfield investment.

Practical implications

The results of this study suggest that multinational corporations should facilitate intensive intra-organizational communication for knowledge sharing that can lead to the effectiveness of foreign subsidiaries. In particular, service firms should appreciate the value of communication. This study also indicates that foreign subsidiaries established through acquisition should promote communication with their parent firms for successful knowledge sharing.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates that the effect of intra-organizational communication on knowledge sharing differs among industries and among entry modes. This is the initial step to further investigations on the industry and the entry strategy effects of intra-organizational communication.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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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: 23 July 2019

Massimo Contrafatto, Ericka Costa and Caterina Pesci

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically informed analysis of social and environmental reporting (SER) evolution, i.e. how and why the SER evolved over time…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically informed analysis of social and environmental reporting (SER) evolution, i.e. how and why the SER evolved over time in a cooperative bank in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a qualitative fieldwork case study conducted from 2011 to 2015. Information and data were collected through several methods including: interviews with managers involved in the SER’s process; analysis of the SER-related documents; analysis of the website; and observations in the field. The analysis of the empirical evidence draws on the institutional logic (IL) perspective, which provides theoretical insights to interpret the role of the contrasting institutional forces in the evolution of SER.

Findings

The empirical analysis unveils three different stages in the evolution of SER: the “birth” whereby a new form of social reporting was initiated; the “development” through which SER was implemented to become a formal component of the organizational management; and the “de-structuring” when the SER was gradually de-composed. This gradual de-structuring, as well as the initiation and implementation processes, was influenced by different institutionally infused rationalities and logics. These institutionally infused rationalities and logics, along with the specific organizational and contextual events, provided the resources, and created the space and opportunity, for the SER-related changes to occur.

Originality/value

The analysis offers theoretical insights to understand “how” (i.e. processes) and “why” (i.e. the conditions under which) SER gradually evolved, i.e. emerged, was constructed and developed during the phases of implementation and post-implementation. Furthermore, it is shown that SER is multifunctional in nature and unveils how and why these multiple functions change over time. Finally, the analysis provides a theoretical contribution by illuminating the role that different and contrasting ILs play in driving the adoption of organizational practices.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Naoki Ando

The purpose of this paper is to explore determinants that affect foreign subsidiary staffing policies by employing institutional theory as a theoretical foundation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore determinants that affect foreign subsidiary staffing policies by employing institutional theory as a theoretical foundation.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses are developed regarding determinants of the ratio of parent country nationals (PCNs) to foreign subsidiary employees. To examine the hypotheses, Tobit regressions are run using a sample of 1,998 foreign subsidiaries of Japanese manufacturers in 40 countries.

Findings

The PCN ratio of foreign subsidiaries is positively associated with the parent firm's taken‐for‐granted PCN ratio and the PCN ratio adopted by other Japanese firms in the same cognitive category. In addition, the positive relationship between the PCN ratio adopted by other Japanese firms in the same cognitive category and the PCN ratio of foreign subsidiaries is moderated by the international experience of the parent firm, such that the positive relationship is weaker as the parent firm accumulates international experience.

Originality/value

The study described in this paper incorporates a sociological perspective into a framework that explains foreign subsidiary staffing decisions. In addition, it shows that under conditions of uncertainty, foreign firms adopt a normatively rational staffing policy, although this does not necessarily guarantee economic rationality.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Minna Logemann and Rebecca Piekkari

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to previous research on intraorganizational power in multinational corporations (MNCs). It shows that a subsidiary manager may…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to previous research on intraorganizational power in multinational corporations (MNCs). It shows that a subsidiary manager may use language and acts of translation to resist control from headquarters and to (re)define his and his unit’s power position in a headquarters-subsidiary relationship. It also uncovers the interplay between natural languages and “company speak” as a specialized language.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a single case study of a European MNC undergoing strategic change. The data were drawn from company documents, personal interviews and focus group discussions.

Findings

The findings show that actors at both headquarters and in the focal subsidiary employed language and translation to exercise power over meanings; headquarters exerted control over “mindsets” and practices, while subsidiaries responded by resisting these meaning systems. The authors argue that the crossing of language boundaries offers a window onto shifting power positions and micro-politics in the MNC.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to a single translation act in a focal headquarters-subsidiary relationship.

Practical implications

From the managerial perspective, any process of communication in a multilingual context needs to be sensitive to power (re)definitions associated with language and translation.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on translation as a political act and hidden activity in the MNC.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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