IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jomstd/v40y2003i2p403-430.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Visible Hands of Hierarchy within the M-Form: An Empirical Test of Corporate Parenting of Internal Product Exchanges

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Poppo

Abstract

In this paper, we dismiss the traditional contingency argument that corporate staff should have minimal involvement with the decisions that its divisions make, because predictability, which underlies this contingency logic, is erroneous for most large corporations at this time. We offer an alternative theory of corporate involvement for the M-form: under unpredictable environments greater interdependence of corporate staff with divisional operating decisions may be necessary to create value for the corporation. Since corporate staff cannot be involved in all divisional affairs, we empirically explore when corporate involvement is most likely. Building on transaction cost economics and the strategy literature, we reason that corporate staff may selectively involve itself in business level strategy and operating decisions when product characteristics signal threats to effective inter-divisional coordination as well as opportunities for value creation. To explore this topic, we surveyed corporate managers of Fortune 500 companies. The results suggest some initial support for our theoretical argument: corporate staff is more likely to involve itself in business-level decisions for uncertain products. We further find that when corporate staff is responsible for the capital investments used for the divisional venture, it is more likely to guide and influence product strategy decisions and inter-divisional conflicts. We do not find, however, consistent evidence that specialized assets or brand-name reputation trigger corporate involvement. Implications and limitations are further discussed. Copyright 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Poppo, 2003. "The Visible Hands of Hierarchy within the M-Form: An Empirical Test of Corporate Parenting of Internal Product Exchanges," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 403-430, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:2:p:403-430
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-6486.00345
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anne Tempel & Peter Walgenbach, 2007. "Global Standardization of Organizational Forms and Management Practices? What New Institutionalism and the Business-Systems Approach Can Learn from Each Other," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, pages 1-24.
    2. Christine Barry, 1998. "Choosing Qualitative Data Analysis Software: Atlas/ti and Nudist Compared," Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, pages 1-4.
    3. Ouchi, William, 1981. "Theory Z: How American business can meet the Japanese challenge," Business Horizons, Elsevier, pages 82-83.
    4. Hyunghae Byun & Sierk Ybema, 2005. "Japanese Business in the Dutch Polder: The Experience of Cultural Differences in Asymmetric Power Relations," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 535-552.
    5. Fetters, Michael D., 1995. "Nemawashi essential for conducting research in Japan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 375-381.
    6. Harris, Simon, 2000. "Reconciling positive and interpretative international management research: a native category approach," International Business Review, Elsevier, pages 755-770.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:hal:gemwpa:hal-00864324 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s11575-017-0325-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:manint:v:50:y:2010:i:4:d:10.1007_s11575-010-0042-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Tippmann, Esther & Sharkey Scott, Pamela & Mangematin, Vincent, 2014. "Subsidiary managers’ knowledge mobilizations: Unpacking emergent knowledge flows," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, pages 431-443.
    5. Yuzhe Miao & Yuping Zeng & Jeoung Yul Lee, 2016. "Headquarters Resource Allocation for Inter-Subsidiary Innovation Transfer: The Effect of Within-Country and Cross-Country Cultural Differences," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 56(5), pages 665-698, October.
    6. Tippmann, Esther & Sharkey Scott, Pamela & Mangematin, Vincent, 2014. "Subsidiary managers’ knowledge mobilizations: Unpacking emergent knowledge flows," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, pages 431-443.
    7. repec:eee:intman:v:23:y:2017:i:3:p:255-267 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11575-017-0311-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bucheli, Marcelo & Mahoney, Joseph T. & Vaaler, Paul M., 2007. "Chandler's Living History: The Visible Hand of Vertical Integration in 19th Century America Viewed under a 21st Century Transaction Costs Economics Lens," Working Papers 07-0111, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    10. Ciabuschi, Francesco & Forsgren, Mats & Martín Martín, Oscar, 2012. "Headquarters involvement and efficiency of innovation development and transfer in multinationals: A matter of sheer ignorance?," International Business Review, Elsevier, pages 130-144.
    11. Cerrato, Daniele, 2006. "The multinational enterprise as an internal market system," International Business Review, Elsevier, pages 253-277.
    12. repec:spr:manint:v:51:y:2011:i:2:d:10.1007_s11575-011-0068-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:2:p:403-430. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2380 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.