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Subsidiary role development: The effect of micro-political headquarters-subsidiary negotiations on the product, market and value-added scope of foreign-owned subsidiaries

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  • Dörrenbächer, Christoph
  • Gammelgaard, Jens
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    Abstract

    This paper focuses on subsidiary role development in terms of changes in the market, product and value-added scope of foreign subsidiaries within multinational corporations (MNC). In its theoretical part, it identifies three interrelated reasons to explain such role changes: (1) subsidiary capabilities, (2) host-country localization advantages and (3) headquarters' realized strategies--that is, headquarters' intended strategies and the outcomes of micro-political headquarter-subsidiary negotiations. Based on the results of interviews with 65 managers in 11 German headquarters and their 13 Hungarian subsidiaries, the paper reveals the interrelated effects of the three factors on subsidiary role development and shows that headquarters' intended strategies are decisive to explain role development in peripheral host countries, though micro-political headquarter-subsidiary negotiations being an integral part of subsidiary role development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 266-283

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:12:y:2006:i:3:p:266-283

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    Keywords: Multinational corporations Foreign subsidiary Subsidiary role development Micro-politics Headquarters-subsidiary relationships;

    References

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    1. Birkinshaw, Julian & Hood, Neil & Young, Stephen, 2005. "Subsidiary entrepreneurship, internal and external competitive forces, and subsidiary performance," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 227-248, April.
    2. G R G Benito & B Gr�gaard & R Narula, 2003. "Environmental influences on MNE subsidiary roles: economic integration and the Nordic countries," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(5), pages 443-456, September.
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    6. 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).
    7. Birkinshaw, Julian & Ridderstråle, Jonas, 1999. "Fighting the corporate immune system: a process study of subsidiary initiatives in multinational corporations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 149-180, April.
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    11. Forsgren, Mats, 1990. "Managing the international multi-centre firm: Case studies from Sweden," European Management Journal, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 261-267, June.
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    13. Klaus E. Meyer & Enese Lieb-Dóczy, 2003. "Post-Acquisition Restructuring as Evolutionary Process," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 459-482, 03.
    14. 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.
    15. Thomas W Malnight, 1996. "The Transition from Decentralized to Network-Based MNC Structures: An Evolutionary Perspective," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(1), pages 43-65, March.
    16. Ulf Holm & Anders Malmberg & Orjan S–lvell, 2003. "Subsidiary impact on host-country economies--the case of foreign-owned subsidiaries attracting investment into sweden," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 389-408, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Achcaoucaou, Fariza & Miravitlles, Paloma & León-Darder, Fidel, 2014. "Knowledge sharing and subsidiary R&D mandate development: A matter of dual embeddedness," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 76-90.
    2. Gnyawali, Devi R. & Singal, Manisha & Mu, Shaohua "Carolyn", 2009. "Knowledge ties among subsidiaries in MNCs: A multi-level conceptual model," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 387-400, December.
    3. Jindra, Björn & Giroud, Axèle & Scott-Kennel, Joanna, 2009. "Subsidiary roles, vertical linkages and economic development: Lessons from transition economies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 167-179, April.
    4. Schotter, Andreas & Beamish, Paul W., 2011. "Performance effects of MNC headquarters-subsidiary conflict and the role of boundary spanners: The case of headquarter initiative rejection," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 243-259, September.
    5. Williams, Christopher & Lee, Soo Hee, 2009. "International management, political arena and dispersed entrepreneurship in the MNC," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 287-299, July.
    6. Najafi-Tavani, Zhaleh & Giroud, Axèle & Andersson, Ulf, 2014. "The interplay of networking activities and internal knowledge actions for subsidiary influence within MNCs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 122-131.

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