IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/intman/v15y2009i1p92-104.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Subsidiary-level determinants of global initiatives in multinational corporations

Author

Listed:
  • Williams, Christopher

Abstract

This article examines subsidiary-level factors that promote global initiatives in MNCs. Global initiatives are a key capability of MNCs that domestic firms do not possess, yet there has been little research on how MNCs promote initiatives on a global basis. I draw principally on the knowledge-based view to develop a model in which three subsidiary-level variables explain the propensity of the MNC to pursue global initiatives. These variables are: (1) inter-unit networking, (2) subsidiary learning from internal and external sources, (3) shared strategic goals. A survey of 118 subsidiary managers, triangulated with interviews with 20 key informants, provides support for the hypothesized effect of subsidiary learning and shared strategic goals on global initiatives. The result for inter-unit networking is less clear. These variables combine to activate initiatives within the MNC and thus act as a source of competitiveness on a worldwide basis. The results have important implications for MNC managers as well as for theory, and these are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Williams, Christopher, 2009. "Subsidiary-level determinants of global initiatives in multinational corporations," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 92-104, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:15:y:2009:i:1:p:92-104
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1075425308001087
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
    2. D Minbaeva & T Pedersen & I Björkman & C F Fey & H J Park, 2003. "MNC knowledge transfer, subsidiary absorptive capacity, and HRM," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 34(6), pages 586-599, November.
    3. Srivastava, Abhishek & Lee, Hun, 2005. "Predicting order and timing of new product moves: the role of top management in corporate entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 459-481, July.
    4. Robert Jensen & Gabriel Szulanski, 2004. "Stickiness and the adaptation of organizational practices in cross-border knowledge transfers," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(6), pages 508-523, November.
    5. Persson, Magnus, 2006. "The impact of operational structure, lateral integrative mechanisms and control mechanisms on intra-MNE knowledge transfer," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 547-569, October.
    6. von Zedtwitz, Maximilian & Gassmann, Oliver & Boutellier, Roman, 2004. "Organizing global R&D: challenges and dilemmas," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 21-49.
    7. Danny Miller, 1983. "The Correlates of Entrepreneurship in Three Types of Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(7), pages 770-791, July.
    8. Yamin, Mo. & Otto, Juliet, 2004. "Patterns of knowledge flows and MNE innovative performance," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 239-258.
    9. Sunil Venaik & David F Midgley & Timothy M Devinney, 2005. "Dual paths to performance: the impact of global pressures on MNC subsidiary conduct and performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 36(6), pages 655-675, November.
    10. Andersson, Ulf & Forsgren, Mats, 1996. "Subsidiary embeddedness and control in the multinational corporation," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(5), pages 487-508, October.
    11. Nicolai Juul Foss & Torben Pedersen, 2004. "Organizing knowledge processes in the multinational corporation: an introduction," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 340-349, September.
    12. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
    13. Cantwell, John, 1995. "The Globalisation of Technology: What Remains of the Product Cycle Model?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 155-174, February.
    14. Stephen R Gates & William G Egelhoff, 1986. "Centralization in Headquarters–Subsidiary Relationships," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 17(2), pages 71-92, June.
    15. James P Johnson & Tomasz Lenartowicz & Salvador Apud, 2006. "Cross-cultural competence in international business: toward a definition and a model," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(4), pages 525-543, July.
    16. Pauly, Louis W. & Reich, Simon, 1997. "National structures and multinational corporate behavior: enduring differences in the age of globalization," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 1-30, December.
    17. Taplin, Ian M., 2006. "Strategic change and organisational restructuring: How managers negotiate change initiatives," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 284-301, September.
    18. Robert A. Burgelman, 1983. "Corporate Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management: Insights from a Process Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(12), pages 1349-1364, December.
    19. Kent Eriksson & Jan Johanson & Anders Majkgård & D Deo Sharma, 1997. "Experimental Knowledge and Costs in the Internationalization Process," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 28(2), pages 337-360, June.
    20. Knight, Gary A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship and strategy in the international SME," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 155-171.
    21. Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, 1985. "Control: Organizational and Economic Approaches," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(2), pages 134-149, February.
    22. Ingmar Björkman & Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen & Li Li, 2004. "Managing knowledge transfer in MNCs: the impact of headquarters control mechanisms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 443-455, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Carrère, Céline & Fugazza, Marco & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2016. "On the heterogeneous effect of trade on unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 11540, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Williams, Christopher & Lee, Soo Hee, 2009. "International management, political arena and dispersed entrepreneurship in the MNC," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 287-299, July.
    3. Reddy, Kotapati Srinivasa, 2016. "Institutional Voids and Tax litigation in Emerging Economies: The verdict of Vodafone cross-border acquisition of Hutchison," MPRA Paper 74264, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    4. Michailova, Snejina & Mustaffa, Zaidah, 2012. "Subsidiary knowledge flows in multinational corporations: Research accomplishments, gaps, and opportunities," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 383-396.
    5. McGuinness, Martina & Demirbag, Mehmet & Bandara, Sasanka, 2013. "Towards a multi-perspective model of reverse knowledge transfer in multinational enterprises: A case study of Coats plc," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 179-195.
    6. Williams, Christopher & Lee, Soo Hee, 2011. "Entrepreneurial contexts and knowledge coordination within the multinational corporation," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 253-264, April.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11575-016-0298-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Scott, Pamela & Gibbons, Patrick & Coughlan, Joseph, 2010. "Developing subsidiary contribution to the MNC--Subsidiary entrepreneurship and strategy creativity," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 328-339, December.
    10. Shirokova, Galina V. & Sokolova, Liubov S., 2013. "Exploring the Antecedents of Entrepreneurial Orientation in Russian SMEs: The Role of Institutional Environment," Working Papers 819, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.
    11. Nair, Smitha R. & Demirbag, Mehmet & Mellahi, Kamel, 2016. "Reverse knowledge transfer in emerging market multinationals: The Indian context," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 152-164.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:15:y:2009:i:1:p:92-104. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/601266/description#description .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.