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

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  • Ciabuschi, Francesco
  • Dellestrand, Henrik
  • Kappen, Philip

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ciabuschi, Francesco & Dellestrand, Henrik & Kappen, Philip, 2012. "The good, the bad, and the ugly: Technology transfer competence, rent-seeking, and bargaining power," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 664-674.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:47:y:2012:i:4:p:664-674
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2011.08.002
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    1. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:1:p:231-245 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Najafi-Tavani, Zhaleh & Giroud, Axèle & Andersson, Ulf, 2014. "The interplay of networking activities and internal knowledge actions for subsidiary influence within MNCs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 122-131.
    3. Yeniyurt, Sengun & Carnovale, Steven, 2017. "Global supply network embeddedness and power: An analysis of international joint venture formations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 203-213.
    4. 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.
    5. Mudambi, Ram & Pedersen, Torben & Andersson, Ulf, 2014. "How subsidiaries gain power in multinational corporations," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 101-113.
    6. Yuzhe Miao & Yuping Zeng & Jeoung Yul Lee, 2016. "Headquarters Resource Allocation for Inter-Subsidiary Innovation Transfer: The Effect of Within-Country and Cross-Country Cultural Differences," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 56(5), pages 665-698, October.
    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. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:2:p:328-338 is not listed on IDEAS

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