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Organizing for knowledge flows within MNCs

Listed author(s):
  • Gupta, Anil K.
  • Govindarajan, V.
Registered author(s):

    This paper conceptualizes the multinational corporation (MNC) as a network of knowledge flows and argues that, within the same MNC, subsidiary strategic roles can be expected to differ in terms of the extent and directionality of knowledge flows between a focal subsidiary and the rest of the corporation. Building on this framework, the paper hypothesizes and empirically tests for systematic associations between a subsidiary's knowledge-flow based strategic role and the systems and processes linking the subsidiary to the rest of the corporation. The empirical data, collected from 359 subsidiaries of major US, Japanese, and European MNCs (i) provide strong support to the notion of differentiated knowledge flow roles as well as differentiated systems and processes within MNCs, and (ii) suggest that innovation by foreign subsidiaries is more typically the result of autonomous initiative by the subsidiaries rather than strategic directives issued from corporate headquarters.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 3 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 443-457

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:3:y:1994:i:4:p:443-457
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