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Subsidiary roles and reverse knowledge transfer: An investigation of the effects of coordination mechanisms

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  • Rabbiosi, Larissa
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    Abstract

    In response to the increasing need to balance the pressures of global integration and local responsiveness, foreign subsidiaries must play a prominent role in the creation of knowledge that is valuable to the MNE as a whole. In this context, a key managerial problem relates to the balance between coordination mechanisms and knowledge flows from the subsidiary to the parent company, known as reverse knowledge transfer. It is crucial to understand the interdependencies between subsidiary roles and key coordination mechanisms, such as subsidiary autonomy, personal and electronic-based coordination mechanisms. This paper, therefore, offers new insights into the impact of coordination mechanisms on reverse knowledge transfer. On the basis of a data set consisting of 280 dyads between foreign subsidiaries and their parent companies, two distinctive configurations are found to positively affect the extent of reverse knowledge transfer. The first is the combination of a high degree of subsidiary autonomy and greater use of personal coordination mechanisms, and the second is the combination of low subsidiary autonomy and greater use of electronic-based coordination mechanisms. However, the relevance of these coordination configurations differs for various subsidiary roles.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 97-113

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:17:y:2011:i:2:p:97-113

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    Related research

    Keywords: Reverse knowledge transfer Subsidiary roles Personal and electronic-based coordination mechanisms Subsidiary autonomy;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Rabbiosi, Larissa & Santangelo, Grazia D., 2013. "Parent company benefits from reverse knowledge transfer: The role of the liability of newness in MNEs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 160-170.
    2. Igor Gurkov, 2014. "Corporate Parenting Style In The Global Economy," HSE Working papers WP BRP 20/MAN/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. Dimitratos, Pavlos & Plakoyiannaki, Emmanuella & Thanos, Ioannis C. & Förbom, Yrjö Kristian, 2014. "The overlooked distinction of multinational enterprise subsidiary learning: Its managerial and entrepreneurial learning modes," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 102-114.
    4. Narula, Rajneesh, 2013. "Using a 'Systems' Perspective to Explain the Limits of 'New' Multinational Enterprises: the role of 'members-only' location advantages," MERIT Working Papers 033, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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