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The evolution of technology in multinational enterprises: the role of creative subsidiaries

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  • Pearce, Robert

Abstract

The paper deals with the positioning of dispersed technology acquisition and application in heterarchical MNEs. It suggests that as MNEs acknowledge the need to respond to technological and market heterogeneity, this is best done through creative subsidiaries that access and apply localised dimensions of knowledge. Ultimately the most successful results of this, for the creative subsidiary and its MNE corporate group, are likely to be achieved if exercised as new perspectives within the current technological trajectory of the MNE. New technological dimensions emerging in creative subsidiaries can usefully be allowed to challenge the limits of the group's technology trajectory, but not to usurp it in a disorderly fashion. The aims of central technology management in this type of MNE are, therefore, to retain effective custodianship of a coherent and cohesive technology trajectory, without stifling the ability of creative subsidiaries to generate and apply new knowledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Pearce, Robert, 1999. "The evolution of technology in multinational enterprises: the role of creative subsidiaries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 125-148, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:8:y:1999:i:2:p:125-148
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Julian Birkinshaw, 1996. "How Multinational Subsidiary Mandates are Gained and Lost," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(3), pages 467-495, September.
    2. Hood, Neil & Young, Stephen & Lal, David, 1994. "Strategic evolution within Japanese manufacturing plants in Europe: UK evidence," International Business Review, Elsevier, pages 97-122.
    3. Kendall Roth & Allen J Morrison, 1992. "Implementing Global Strategy: Characteristics of Global Subsidiary Mandates," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 23(4), pages 715-735, December.
    4. Marina Papanastassiou & Robet Pearce, 1994. "Host-Country Determinants of the Market Strategies of US Companies' Overseas Subsidiaries," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 199-216.
    5. Sumantra Ghoshal & Christopher A Bartlett, 1988. "Creation, Adoption and Diffusion of Innovations by Subsidiaries of Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(3), pages 365-388, September.
    6. Taggart, J. H., 1996. "Multinational manufacturing subsidiaries in Scotland: Strategic role and economic impact," International Business Review, Elsevier, pages 447-468.
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