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Transferring knowledge in MNCs: The role of sources of subsidiary knowledge and organizational context

  • Foss, Nicolai J.
  • Pedersen, Torben

We link up with the recent literature on the differentiated MNC and in particular with its stress on intra-MNC knowledge flows. However, rather than focusing on the characteristics of knowledge as determinants of knowledge transfer within MNCs, we focus instead on levels of knowledge in subsidiaries, the sources of transferable subsidiary knowledge and on the organizational means and conditions that realize knowledge transfer as the relevant determinants. We find largely positive support for the relevant hypotheses. These are tested on a unique dataset on knowledge development in subsidiary firms [the Centre of Excellence (CoE) project].

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

Volume (Year): 8 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 49-67

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:8:y:2002:i:1:p:49-67
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  1. 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.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Gassmann, Oliver & von Zedtwitz, Maximilian, 1999. "New concepts and trends in international R&D organization," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 231-250, March.
  4. Sumantra Ghoshal & Harry Korine & Gabriel Szulanski, 1994. "Interunit Communication in Multinational Corporations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(1), pages 96-110, January.
  5. Kendall Roth & Allen J Morrison, 1992. "Implementing Global Strategy: Characteristics of Global Subsidiary Mandates," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(4), pages 715-735, December.
  6. Julian Birkinshaw, 1996. "How Multinational Subsidiary Mandates are Gained and Lost," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(3), pages 467-495, September.
  7. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  8. Holm, Ulf & Pedersen, Torben, 2000. "The Dilemma Of Centres Of Excellence - Contextual Creation Of Knowledge Versus Global Transfer Of Knowledge," Working Papers 8-2000, Copenhagen Business School, Department of International Economics and Management.
  9. 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.
  10. Forsgren, Mats & Pedersen, Torben & Foss, Nicolai J., 1999. "Accounting for the strengths of MNC subsidiaries: the case of foreign-owned firms in Denmark," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 181-196, April.
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