IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The good, the bad, and the ugly: Technology transfer competence, rent-seeking, and bargaining power

  • Ciabuschi, Francesco
  • Dellestrand, Henrik
  • Kappen, Philip
Registered author(s):

    In this paper, we explore the relationships between subsidiary technology transfer competence, bargaining power and rent-seeking. In the multinational corporation, technology transfer competence is generally perceived as something desirable. We connect this bright side of subsidiary-level processes to a potentially uglier and darker side of the organization, namely that subsidiaries gain bargaining power that is exercised for bad ends, i.e., rent-seeking. Using an empirical analysis that comprises intrafirm technology transfers, this paper finds that technology transfer competence leads to greater subsidiary bargaining power that in turn increases rent-seeking behavior; but this competence does not directly affect rent-seeking. We suggest that bargaining power offers a key explanation for rent-seeking. This paper advances the understanding of subsidiary sources of power within the multinational corporation and the organizational determinants of rent-seeking, which is relevant to theory development as well as to 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:
    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 World Business.

    Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 664-674

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:47:y:2012:i:4:p:664-674
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    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. Andersson, Ulf & Forsgren, Mats, 1996. "Subsidiary embeddedness and control in the multinational corporation," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(5), pages 487-508, October.
    2. Gertner, Robert H & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1994. "Internal versus External Capital Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1211-30, November.
    3. Forsgren, Mats, 1990. "Managing the international multi-centre firm: Case studies from Sweden," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 261-267, June.
    4. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
    5. Yamin, Mohammad & Forsgren, Mats, 2006. "Hymer's analysis of the multinational organization: Power retention and the demise of the federative MNE," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 166-179, April.
    6. Gupta, Anil K. & Govindarajan, V., 1994. "Organizing for knowledge flows within MNCs," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 443-457, December.
    7. Avila, Marcos & Ronen, Joshua, 1999. "Transfer-pricing mechanisms: An experimental investigation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 689-715, July.
    8. Hong, Jacky F.L. & Nguyen, Thang V., 2009. "Knowledge embeddedness and the transfer mechanisms in multinational corporations," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 347-356, October.
    9. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-90, September.
    10. Stein, Jeremy C, 1997. " Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 111-33, March.
    11. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss & Xosé H. Vázquez, 2006. "'Tying the manager's hands': constraining opportunistic managerial intervention," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(5), pages 797-818, September.
    12. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1997. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," NBER Working Papers 5969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Tenenhaus, Michel & Vinzi, Vincenzo Esposito & Chatelin, Yves-Marie & Lauro, Carlo, 2005. "PLS path modeling," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 159-205, January.
    14. Sumantra Ghoshal & Christopher A Bartlett, 1988. "Creation, Adoption and Diffusion of Innovations by Subsidiaries of Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 365-388, September.
    15. Dellestrand, Henrik & Kappen, Philip, 2011. "Headquarters Allocation of Resources to Innovation Transfer Projects within the Multinational Enterprise," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 263-277.
    16. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 6274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Luo, Yadong, 2005. "Toward coopetition within a multinational enterprise: a perspective from foreign subsidiaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 71-90, February.
    18. Nicolai Foss, 2002. "'Coase vs Hayek': Economic Organization and the Knowledge Economy," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 9-35.
    19. Dellestrand, Henrik, 2011. "Subsidiary embeddedness as a determinant of divisional headquarters involvement in innovation transfer processes," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 229-242, September.
    20. Jack Hirshleifer, 1956. "On the Economics of Transfer Pricing," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29, pages 172.
    21. Mudambi, Ram, 1999. "MNE internal capital markets and subsidiary strategic independence," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 197-211, April.
    22. Naresh K. Malhotra & Sung S. Kim & Ashutosh Patil, 2006. "Common Method Variance in IS Research: A Comparison of Alternative Approaches and a Reanalysis of Past Research," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(12), pages 1865-1883, December.
    23. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
    24. Ulf Andersson & Mats Forsgren & Ulf Holm, 2007. "Balancing subsidiary influence in the federative MNC: a business network view," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(5), pages 802-818, September.
    25. Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
    26. Argote, Linda & Ingram, Paul, 2000. "Knowledge Transfer: A Basis for Competitive Advantage in Firms," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 150-169, May.
    27. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Transfer Pricing and Organizational Form," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 201-28, Fall.
    28. Paul R. Milgrom., 1987. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities and Efficient Organization Design," Economics Working Papers 8741, University of California at Berkeley.
    29. Donald G McFetridge, 1995. "Knowledge, Market Failure and the Multinational Enterprise: A Comment," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(2), pages 409-415, June.
    30. Foss, Nicolai J. & Pedersen, Torben, 2002. "Transferring knowledge in MNCs: The role of sources of subsidiary knowledge and organizational context," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 49-67.
    31. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
    32. Joseph E. Stiglitz & Aaron S. Edlin, 1992. "Discouraging Rivals: Managerial Rent-Seeking and Economic Inefficiencies," NBER Working Papers 4145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Ram Mudambi & Pietro Navarra, 2004. "Is knowledge power? Knowledge flows, subsidiary power and rent-seeking within MNCs," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(5), pages 385-406, September.
    34. Birkinshaw, Julian & Ridderstråle, Jonas, 1999. "Fighting the corporate immune system: a process study of subsidiary initiatives in multinational corporations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 149-180, April.
    35. Teece, David J, 1977. "Technology Transfer by Multinational Firms: The Resource Cost of Transferring Technological Know-how," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(346), pages 242-61, June.
    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:worbus:v:47:y:2012:i:4:p:664-674. 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.