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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Margaret Ryan

If participation is to be a reality, the institution of appropriate structures is not enough ‐ the social processes within these must also facilitate power sharing. In an…

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Abstract

If participation is to be a reality, the institution of appropriate structures is not enough ‐ the social processes within these must also facilitate power sharing. In an international context, national cultures will have different effects on social process. The attitudes of managers towards aspects of decision making in their organizations, and their own behaviour, characterise the social process. Organizational characteristics concerning information sharing and manipulation, decision style, and the role of IT, and personal behaviour involving information control, flexibility, and role playing, are considered for their impact on particpative decision making. A comparison between French and British managers, drawn from an international study of decision making, illustrates the issue considered. While considerable similarities were found between the two cultural groups, differences of degree as well as opposed views were also found. Overall attitudes were fairly favourable to particpation, but limitations were found, and these differed between the two groups.

Details

Participation and Empowerment: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-4449

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 February 2017

Giuseppe Delmestri and Mara Brumana

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Multinational Corporations and Organization Theory: Post Millennium Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-386-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Thomas A. O’Donoghue and Simon Clarke

The traditional system of industrial relations in Australia has emphasised arbitrated decisions by central tribunals in order to achieve uniform wage increases without any…

Abstract

The traditional system of industrial relations in Australia has emphasised arbitrated decisions by central tribunals in order to achieve uniform wage increases without any consideration being given to productivity. Since the late 1980s, there has been a move towards negotiation at the enterprise level. Legislative reforms have occurred at both federal and state levels which present opportunities for individual enterprises to negotiate agreements defining terms and conditions considered to be most appropriate for their circumstances. One major arena where this development, popularly known as enterprise bargaining, is impacting, is that of education. Focuses on the phenomenon by: considering some of the literature on the theoretical and conceptual dimensions of the underlying notion of “bargaining”; outlining the general policy context within which enterprise bargaining has been taking place in Australia; presenting an overview of the emerging research base on award restructuring and enterprise‐based bargaining; outlining the need for research aimed at understanding participants’ perceptions of enterprise bargaining and of their experiences of the bargaining process; examining a major approach to engaging in such research, namely, the micro‐political approach.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 February 2018

Holm-Detlev Köhler and Sergio González Begega

This paper aims to examine the reaction of a local workforce to global restructuring in a transnational company (TNC), which entailed the closure of a manufacturing plant …

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the reaction of a local workforce to global restructuring in a transnational company (TNC), which entailed the closure of a manufacturing plant (La Monroe) in Northern Spain. The article explores the micro-political nature of the corporate decision to close the plant, the workforce reaction to relocation and the discourse legitimizing global restructuring. It also delves into the contra-hegemonic potential of labour as a main stakeholder in TNCs.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach is qualitative. The article presents a theoretically informed and analytical case study based on the literature on micro-politics and power relations in TNCs. Fieldwork is based on semi-structured interviews carried out with relevant stakeholders and other external actors to the TNC.

Findings

The findings substantiate the dynamic role of micro-politics within TNCs. The article presents and discusses evidence of the formation of a broad multi-level political network of resistance to a plant closure plan.

Research limitations/implications

More case study analysis would further support the findings in the paper and provide for a comparative approach.

Originality/value

The article substantiates the dynamic role of micro-politics and power relations in the reification of social norms and discourses on production relocation. It offers an empirical appraisal of the micro-political approach to global restructuring in TNCs. The article also puts labour strategies at the forefront of the analysis in corporate relocation.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2008

Susanne Blazejewski

Purpose – The purpose of the chapter is to introduce an actor-centered conflict perspective into research on multinational company (MNC) coordination. We first develop a…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the chapter is to introduce an actor-centered conflict perspective into research on multinational company (MNC) coordination. We first develop a theoretical framework of conflictual processes in MNC coordination and then use an empirical study of a German MNC in Japan to illustrate how cultural coordination in MNC subsidiaries triggers conflict processes.

Methodology/approach – The chapter integrates conflict theory and models of MNC coordination. The empirical study is based on qualitative data.

Findings – Coordination programs in MNC such as cultural integration through shared values lead to substantial conflictual processes. Local actors apply micro-political tactics to resist, delay or adjust coordination instruments developed by MNC headquarters.

Originality/value of chapter – The chapter applies conflict theory to MNC coordination issues, a field of research which so far is dominated by contingency approaches.

Details

New Perspectives in International Business Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-279-1

Book part
Publication date: 17 February 2017

Alexei Koveshnikov, Mats Ehrnrooth and Eero Vaara

The article develops a model which conceptualizes headquarter-subsidiary relations in the multinational corporation as a multilevel discursive struggle between key…

Abstract

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.”

Details

Multinational Corporations and Organization Theory: Post Millennium Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-386-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Christoph Dörrenbächer and Jens Gammelgaard

As subsidiary power has received relatively little attention in existing research, this paper aims to enhance the understanding of genuine sources of subsidiary power and…

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Abstract

Purpose

As subsidiary power has received relatively little attention in existing research, this paper aims to enhance the understanding of genuine sources of subsidiary power and how they work in headquarters‐subsidiary relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a review of the relevant literature and four illustrative case studies, which are written on the basis of secondary sources. Each case was selected because it adequately represents a particular type of power. This allows for cross‐case comparisons of the strengths and sustainability of different types of power, and facilitates the exploration of the application of subsidiary power in headquarters‐subsidiary relationships.

Findings

Four genuine types of subsidiary power are identified. One of these – micro‐political bargaining power – plays a subtle but crucial role, as it is important in the enactment of the three other types of power, i.e. systemic, resource‐dependency, and institutional.

Practical implications

As headquarters have unlimited access to formal power, subsidiaries find it necessary to constantly apply micro‐political bargaining power. The empirical material suggests that the effectiveness of micro‐political bargaining power for subsidiary actors is based on two factors: information retrieval from headquarters and the leveraging of such information in issue‐selling or conflict‐handling processes.

Originality/value

The paper contributes by theoretically delineating genuine types of subsidiary power and by illustrating the strength, sustainability and interaction of these types of power in headquarters‐subsidiary relationships.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Ursula Mense-Petermann

This paper adds to the literature on outward Foreign Direct Investments by Chinese Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in advanced economies. Its objective is threefold: to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper adds to the literature on outward Foreign Direct Investments by Chinese Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in advanced economies. Its objective is threefold: to characterize the subsidiary roles that advanced economy targets of Chinese Multinational Corporations (CMNC) takeovers typically adopt, to assess the position that these subsidiary roles grant them within the CMNCs as a whole and to flesh out how subsidiary actors perceive and make sense of the particular constellation as a subsidiary of a CMNC. Furthermore, this paper aims to contribute to theory development on headquarters‐subsidiary relations by suggesting an additional theoretical lens.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on in-depth qualitative case studies from the automotive, mechanical engineering and solar industries and focuses on German firms that have been acquired by Chinese MNCs. Theoretically, the present paper draws on extant post-merger integration (PMI) and subsidiary role research, particularly from a micro-political and sensemaking perspective, refined by adding a neo-imperial dominance – lens.

Findings

The paper reveals the subsidiary roles that German subsidiaries of Chinese MNCs typically adopt and discovers the PMI pattern of “reverse integration” delineating quite a particular form of reverse knowledge transfer. Regarding human integration, it emphasizes the importance of neo-imperial attitudes surfacing in the German subsidiaries.

Originality/value

The value of the paper is in contributing to fill the pending research gap on the subsidiary roles that advanced economy subsidiaries of Chinese MNCs adopt, on the resulting positions of these subsidiaries within the overall Chinese groups and the sense that subsidiary actors make of being acquired by a Chinese MNC. The paper also reveals the importance of neo-imperial dominance patterns and attitudes in PMI in the constellation scrutinized.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 14 March 2022

Alexander N. Gorgijevski, Christine Holmström Lind and Katarina Lagerström

By the view of attention-building activities as “tools of power,” the authors investigate the impact of subsidiary involvement in attention-building activities on the…

Abstract

Purpose

By the view of attention-building activities as “tools of power,” the authors investigate the impact of subsidiary involvement in attention-building activities on the strategic influence of subsidiaries within multinational corporations (MNCs).

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on survey data from 110 international subsidiaries located in Sweden. Five hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling with linear structural relations.

Findings

The study shows that organizational commitment and external scouting activities, as two attention-building activities, do not directly affect the ability of subsidiaries to gain a strategic influence in MNCs. Rather, the results provide support for the importance of headquarters’ positive attention as a mediator between such activities and subsidiary strategic influence. This implies that subsidiaries do not receive any strategic influence through these activities unless they receive explicit positive attention from the corporate headquarters.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the micro-political view of the MNC by offering insights into the impact of attention-building activities of subsidiaries as a potential source of strategic influence for MNC subsidiaries.

Book part
Publication date: 7 March 2013

Charlotte Struyve and Geert Kelchtermans

The phenomenon of teachers taking on leadership tasks beyond their classroom duties has become widespread internationally. Although presented as a catalyst for school…

Abstract

The phenomenon of teachers taking on leadership tasks beyond their classroom duties has become widespread internationally. Although presented as a catalyst for school improvement and professional development, the practices and experiences of teacher leaders are more complex than that. The change in roles blurs the traditional division between teaching and leading and therefore challenges the conventional professional relationships in schools. We conducted semi-structured interviews of 28 ‘teacher leaders’ in Flemish primary and secondary schools. We explored their perceptions and evaluation of their position in schools as well as the way their position and role as teacher leaders affected their professional relations with teacher colleagues and school leaders. The results demonstrate how the introduction of new positions and roles in the school as an organisation affects the professional relationships and collegiality. From a micro-political perspective, we show that the new positions also create emotional labour for the teacher leaders, since they find themselves juggling two different agendas of professional interests: on the one hand, receiving recognition by others of their position as teacher leaders, while on the other hand maintaining their former social–professional relationships as teachers with their former colleagues.

Details

Emotion and School: Understanding how the Hidden Curriculum Influences Relationships, Leadership, Teaching, and Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-651-4

Keywords

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