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The evolution of technology in multinational enterprises: the role of creative subsidiaries

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  • Pearce, Robert
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    Abstract

    The paper deals with the positioning of dispersed technology acquisition and application in heterarchical MNEs. It suggests that as MNEs acknowledge the need to respond to technological and market heterogeneity, this is best done through creative subsidiaries that access and apply localised dimensions of knowledge. Ultimately the most successful results of this, for the creative subsidiary and its MNE corporate group, are likely to be achieved if exercised as new perspectives within the current technological trajectory of the MNE. New technological dimensions emerging in creative subsidiaries can usefully be allowed to challenge the limits of the group's technology trajectory, but not to usurp it in a disorderly fashion. The aims of central technology management in this type of MNE are, therefore, to retain effective custodianship of a coherent and cohesive technology trajectory, without stifling the ability of creative subsidiaries to generate and apply new knowledge.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 8 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 125-148

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:8:y:1999:i:2:p:125-148

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    Related research

    Keywords: Multinationals Technology R&D Mandate subsidiaries Heterarchies;

    References

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    1. Hood, Neil & Young, Stephen & Lal, David, 1994. "Strategic evolution within Japanese manufacturing plants in Europe: UK evidence," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-122, June.
    2. Kendall Roth & Allen J Morrison, 1992. "Implementing Global Strategy: Characteristics of Global Subsidiary Mandates," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(4), pages 715-735, December.
    3. Sumantra Ghoshal & Christopher A Bartlett, 1988. "Creation, Adoption and Diffusion of Innovations by Subsidiaries of Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 365-388, September.
    4. Julian Birkinshaw, 1996. "How Multinational Subsidiary Mandates are Gained and Lost," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(3), pages 467-495, September.
    5. Marina Papanastassiou & Robet Pearce, 1994. "Host-Country Determinants of the Market Strategies of US Companies' Overseas Subsidiaries," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 199-216.
    6. Taggart, J. H., 1996. "Multinational manufacturing subsidiaries in Scotland: Strategic role and economic impact," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(5), pages 447-468, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Davis, Lee N. & Meyer, Klaus E., 2004. "Subsidiary research and development, and the local environment," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 359-382, June.
    2. Manolopoulos, Dimitris & Papanastassiou, Marina & Pearce, Robert, 2005. "Technology sourcing in multinational enterprises and the roles of subsidiaries: An empirical investigation," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 249-267, June.
    3. Athreye, Suma & Cantwell, John, 2007. "Creating competition?: Globalisation and the emergence of new technology producers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 209-226, March.
    4. Zhou, Dongsheng & Li, Shaomin & Tse, David K., 2002. "The impact of FDI on the productivity of domestic firms: the case of China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 465-484, August.
    5. Dunning, John H., 2006. "When I met Hymer: Some personal recollections," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 115-123, April.
    6. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2004-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Robert Pearce, 2001. "Multinationals and Industrialisation: The Bases of 'Inward Investment' Policy," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 51-73.
    8. Ivarsson, Inge & Jonsson, Thommy, 2003. "Local technological competence and asset-seeking FDI: an empirical study of manufacturing and wholesale affiliates in Sweden," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 369-386, June.
    9. Yamin, Mo. & Otto, Juliet, 2004. "Patterns of knowledge flows and MNE innovative performance," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 239-258.
    10. Buckley, Peter J. & Carter, Martin J., 2002. "Process and structure in knowledge management practices of British and US multinational enterprises," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 29-48.
    11. Pearce, Robert & Papanastassiou, Marina, 2006. "To 'almost see the world': Hierarchy and strategy in Hymer's view of the multinational," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 151-165, April.
    12. Dellestrand, Henrik & Kappen, Philip, 2011. "Headquarters Allocation of Resources to Innovation Transfer Projects within the Multinational Enterprise," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 263-277.
    13. Dörrenbächer, Christoph & Gammelgaard, Jens, 2006. "Subsidiary role development: The effect of micro-political headquarters-subsidiary negotiations on the product, market and value-added scope of foreign-owned subsidiaries," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 266-283, September.
    14. Yamin, Mo & Andersson, Ulf, 2011. "Subsidiary importance in the MNC: What role does internal embeddedness play?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 151-162, April.
    15. Dunning, John H., 2004. "The contribution of British scholarship to international business studies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 257-279, April.
    16. Dörrenbächer, Christoph & Gammelgaard, Jens, 2006. "Subsidiary redefinition: Charter loss in a German-owned subsidiary in Hungary," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Internationalization and Organization SP III 2006-201, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    17. Li, Jiatao & Kozhikode, Rajiv Krishnan, 2009. "Developing new innovation models: Shifts in the innovation landscapes in emerging economies and implications for global R&D management," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 328-339, September.
    18. Kravtsova, Victoria, 2010. "Identifying patterns of outward foreign direct investments: Some empirical evidence," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-13, February.
    19. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2004-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Rabbiosi, Larissa, 2011. "Subsidiary roles and reverse knowledge transfer: An investigation of the effects of coordination mechanisms," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 97-113, June.
    21. Filippov, Sergey & Costa, Ionara, 2007. "Redefining Foreign Direct Investment Policy: A Two Dimensional Framework," MERIT Working Papers 029, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    22. Dimitratos, Pavlos & Liouka, Ioanna & Young, Stephen, 2009. "Regional location of multinational corporation subsidiaries and economic development contribution: Evidence from the UK," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 180-191, April.

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