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Entrepreneurial contexts and knowledge coordination within the multinational corporation

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  • Williams, Christopher
  • Lee, Soo Hee

Abstract

We present a new perspective on entrepreneurship within multinational corporations (MNCs) based on entrepreneurial contexts and knowledge coordination. First, we develop a framework of four contexts for analyzing different mechanisms by which MNCs pursue opportunities across borders. Second, we develop propositions for predicting how entrepreneurial knowledge is coordinated (transferred and internalized) between these contexts. The coordination problem lies at the heart of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship within modern MNCs although its inter-contextual nature has been neglected in the literature. In our view, MNC entrepreneurship comprises (1) a superset of entrepreneurial activity from four distinct contexts; and (2) the inter-contextual coordination of knowledge of opportunity, knowledge of solution, and learning from outcomes of initiatives. Drawing primarily on the knowledge-based view of the MNC, we argue that knowledge coordination between multiple entrepreneurial contexts constitutes a socially complex capability and potential source of competitive advantage for the MNC. This holistic view of MNC entrepreneurship raises fresh questions for researchers and strategic leaders of MNCs.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:46:y:2011:i:2:p:253-264
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tuija Mainela & Vesa Puhakka & Per Servais, 2015. "Boundary crossing for international opportunities," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 173-185, September.
    2. Andersson, Ulf & Dasí, Àngels & Mudambi, Ram & Pedersen, Torben, 2016. "Technology, innovation and knowledge: The importance of ideas and international connectivity," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 153-162.
    3. Christopher Williams & Juana Du, 2014. "The impact of trust and local learning on the innovative performance of MNE subsidiaries in China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 973-996, December.
    4. Kasper, Helmut & Lehrer, Mark & Mühlbacher, Jürgen & Müller, Barbara, 2013. "On the different “worlds” of intra-organizational knowledge management: Understanding idiosyncratic variation in MNC cross-site knowledge-sharing practices," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 326-338.
    5. Paul Hong & Stephen K. Callaway & Soon W. Hong, 2016. "Open network innovation in the age of complexity: case for small and medium enterprises," International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 10(1), pages 65-86.
    6. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:1:p:21-33 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kostova, Tatiana & Marano, Valentina & Tallman, Stephen, 2016. "Headquarters–subsidiary relationships in MNCs: Fifty years of evolving research," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 176-184.
    8. Patriotta, Gerardo & Castellano, Anna & Wright, Mike, 2013. "Coordinating knowledge transfer: Global managers as higher-level intermediaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 515-526.
    9. Michailova, Snejina & Zhan, Wu, 2015. "Dynamic capabilities and innovation in MNC subsidiaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 576-583.

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