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Motivating proactive subsidiary innovation: Agent-based theory and socialization models in global R&D

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  • Johnson, William H.A.
  • Medcof, John W.

Abstract

An integration of agency theory and socialization models is developed and used to explain the types of governance and organizational structures associated with self-initiated subsidiary innovation. This theorizing suggests that: 1) The hub structure is the greatest user of behavior-based contracting and engenders the fewest self-initiated innovations; 2) The federation structure is the greatest user of outcome-based contracting and engenders the most self-initiated innovations, but these are primarily oriented to business level strategy rather than corporate; and, 3) The network structure is the greatest user of goal internalization and is the strongest generator of self-initiated innovations which are oriented to corporate-level strategy. The empirical evidence from extant studies of other researchers in the field is consistent with these propositions. Implications for management practice, research and theory are discussed in the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, William H.A. & Medcof, John W., 2007. "Motivating proactive subsidiary innovation: Agent-based theory and socialization models in global R&D," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 472-487, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:13:y:2007:i:4:p:472-487
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Siew Meng Leong & Chin Tiong Tan, 1993. "Managing Across Borders: An Empirical Test of the Bartlett and Ghoshal [1989] Organizational Typology," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 24(3), pages 449-464, September.
    2. 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.
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    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    5. Wilbur Chung, 2001. "Identifying Technology Transfer in Foreign Direct Investment: Influence of Industry Conditions and Investing Firm Motives," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(2), pages 211-229, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Neil Hood & James Taggart, 1999. "Subsidiary Development in German and Japanese Manufacturing Subsidiaries in the British Isles," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(6), pages 513-528.
    8. Kendall Roth & Allen J Morrison, 1990. "An Empirical Analysis of the Integration-Responsiveness Framework in Global Industries," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 21(4), pages 541-564, December.
    9. Kendall Roth & David M Schweiger & Allen J Morrison, 1991. "Global Strategy Implementation at the Business Unit Level: Operational Capabilities and Administrative Mechanisms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 22(3), pages 369-402, September.
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    1. repec:spr:manint:v:50:y:2010:i:5:d:10.1007_s11575-010-0051-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Schmid, Stefan & Dzedek, Lars R. & Lehrer, Mark, 2014. "From Rocking the Boat to Wagging the Dog: A Literature Review of Subsidiary Initiative Research and Integrative Framework," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 201-218.
    3. Černe, Matej & Jaklič, Marko & Škerlavaj, Miha, 2013. "Decoupling management and technological innovations: Resolving the individualism–collectivism controversy," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 103-117.
    4. Gammelgaard, Jens & McDonald, Frank & Stephan, Andreas & Tüselmann, Heinz & Dörrenbächer, Christoph, 2012. "The impact of increases in subsidiary autonomy and network relationships on performance," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1158-1172.

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