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Transferring Organizational Practices and the Dynamics of Hybridization: Japanese Retail Multinationals in China

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  • Jos Gamble

Abstract

Detailed case study research conducted at Japanese multinational retail firms in both their home country and their subsidiaries in China is undertaken to assess a range of prominent theoretical perspectives that have been used to account for the transfer of organizational practices. Approaches based upon culturalist, national business systems, industry sector, international division of labour, and agency perspectives are shown to be inadequate, individually, to account for the complex patterns of transfer, local adoption, and adaptation in these multinational companies. These findings highlight the value of conceptual bricolage and multi-level analysis for developing explanations that can encompass and explicate complex patterns of hybridization. The paper also identifies important factors in the dynamics of hybridization that have been neglected or downplayed in much of the existing literature. These include the significance of context specific, firm level perceptions of sources of competitive advantage as a key motive encouraging transfer of parent company practices. Crucial factors constraining transfer are the practices and norms prevalent in local labour markets. Additionally, transfer by multinational companies to transitional economies with high levels of deinstitutionalization illustrates problematic dimensions for various theoretical perspectives, including influential neo-institutionalist models. Copyright (c) 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.

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  • Jos Gamble, 2010. "Transferring Organizational Practices and the Dynamics of Hybridization: Japanese Retail Multinationals in China," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 705-732, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:47:y:2010:i:4:p:705-732
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    Cited by:

    1. Christina L. Ahmadjian, 2016. "Comparative Institutional Analysis and Institutional Complexity," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 12-27, January.
    2. Drogendijk, Rian & Andersson, Ulf, 2013. "Relationship development in Greenfield expansions," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 381-391.
    3. Ahlvik, Catarina & Smale, Adam & Sumelius, Jennie, 2016. "Aligning corporate transfer intentions and subsidiary HRM practice implementation in multinational corporations," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 343-355.
    4. Chung, Chul & Sparrow, Paul & Bozkurt, Ödül, 2014. "South Korean MNEs’ international HRM approach: Hybridization of global standards and local practices," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 549-559.
    5. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:17:y:2017:i:1:p:1-29. is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Zhu, Cherrie Jiuhua & Cooper, Brian K. & Fan, Di & De Cieri, Helen, 2013. "HR practices from the perspective of managers and employees in multinational enterprises in China: Alignment issues and implications," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 241-250.
    7. Sajjad Jasimuddin & Jun Li & Nicholas Perdikis, 2015. "Linkage between geographic space and knowledge transfer by multinational enterprises: a structural equation approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(3), pages 769-795, May.
    8. Swoboda, Bernhard & Elsner, Stefan & Olejnik, Edith, 2015. "How do past mode choices influence subsequent entry? A study on the boundary conditions of preferred entry modes of retail firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 506-517.

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