IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

A coevolutionary theory of the multinational firm

  • Madhok, Anoop
  • Liu, Carl
Registered author(s):

    We examine the multinational firm from the lens of coevolutionary theory. Coevolutionary theory encompasses both macrocoevolution with the external (local) environment and microcoevolution within the internal environment, i.e. among the MNC's parts (subsidiaries) and the whole, and the relations between the two. In making our argument, we distinguish the coevolutionary process (what happens) from coevolutionary capabilities (what is manageable and how), and then resort to the specific motors of causal ambiguity and absorptive capacity to link the two together. In this context, we argue more specifically that coevolution at different levels tends to occur at different speeds. The speed differential creates what we term a dis-synchronization effect in the coevolution of the MNC, which potentially impacts firm performance. In making our argument, we also show how a coevolutionary lens sheds novel light on the functioning of the MNC as an internal knowledge sub-economy and the advantage of hierarchies over markets in this regard. Constructively managing the tension between the macro and micro aspects of coevolution due to respective differences in coevolutionary pressures has direct implications for competitive advantage and is a critical challenge faced by managers.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S107542530600007X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 1-21

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:12:y:2006:i:1:p:1-21
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/601266/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/601266/bibliographic
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/601266/bibliographic

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Julian Birkinshaw & Neil Hood, 2000. "Characteristics of Foreign Subsidiaries in Industry Clusters," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(1), pages 141-154, March.
    2. S.A. Lippman & R.P. Rumelt, 1982. "Uncertain Imitability: An Analysis of Interfirm Differences in Efficiency under Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 418-438, Autumn.
    3. Susan Bartholomew, 1997. "National Systems of Biotechnology Innovation: Complex Interdependence in the Global System," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(2), pages 241-266, June.
    4. Mudambi, Ram, 2002. "Knowledge management in multinational firms," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-9.
    5. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:12:y:2006:i:1:p:1-21. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.