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The development of critical capabilities in foreign subsidiaries: disentangling the role of the subsidiary's business network

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  • Schmid, Stefan
  • Schurig, Andreas

Abstract

Within business literature in general, capabilities have advanced to the prime determinant of the corporation's economic rents. Within international business literature, it is further assumed that multinational corporations can enhance their pool of capabilities through foreign subsidiaries. Foreign subsidiaries are seen as means to assimilate new capabilities from their local, external network and integrate these capabilities into the multinational corporation. Data from more than 2000 foreign subsidiaries shows that some foreign units actually are endowed with superior capabilities which are useful for other corporate entities. It is argued that the development of critical capabilities within these subsidiaries is driven not only by internal corporate actors, but also by external actors. The analysis provides evidence that the role of different internal and external network partners for capability development varies according to the functional activity under consideration. Thus, subsidiaries benefit from various internal and external network actors in very different ways. The contribution ends with some conclusions and some avenues for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmid, Stefan & Schurig, Andreas, 2003. "The development of critical capabilities in foreign subsidiaries: disentangling the role of the subsidiary's business network," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 755-782, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:12:y:2003:i:6:p:755-782
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