IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/worbus/v49y2014i1p122-131.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The interplay of networking activities and internal knowledge actions for subsidiary influence within MNCs

Author

Listed:
  • Najafi-Tavani, Zhaleh
  • Giroud, Axèle
  • Andersson, Ulf

Abstract

Knowledge-based and network-based activities are known determinants of foreign subsidiary influence. We demonstrate that the interaction between these factors is essential in understanding how subsidiaries gain influence within an MNC. We test this using data on 184 foreign-owned subsidiaries in the UK. The results indicate that the possession of strategic resources (knowledge or embedded relations) increases subsidiary influence only when the knowledge is transferred back to headquarters. Importantly, the impact of subsidiary–headquarters embeddedness, external embeddedness and knowledge development on influence is mediated by the extent of reverse knowledge transfer. This mediating role sheds new light on the antecedents to subsidiary influence.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:49:y:2014:i:1:p:122-131
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2013.02.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090951613000175
    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. Julian Birkinshaw, 1996. "How Multinational Subsidiary Mandates are Gained and Lost," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(3), pages 467-495, September.
    2. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "The elusive concept of localization economies: towards a knowledge-based theory of spatial clustering," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(3), pages 429-449, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Henrik Bresman & Julian Birkinshaw & Robert Nobel, 2010. "Knowledge transfer in international acquisitions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 41(1), pages 5-20, January.
    5. Asakawa, Kazuhiro, 2001. "Organizational tension in international R&D management: the case of Japanese firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 735-757, May.
    6. Bernard L Simonin, 2004. "An empirical investigation of the process of knowledge transfer in international strategic alliances," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 407-427, September.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Julian Birkinshaw & Henrik Bresman & Robert Nobel, 2010. "Knowledge transfer in international acquisitions: A retrospective," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 41(1), pages 21-26, January.
    10. Cantwell, John & Janne, Odile, 1999. "Technological globalisation and innovative centres: the role of corporate technological leadership and locational hierarchy1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 119-144, March.
    11. Yves Doz & C K Prahalad, 1984. "Patterns of Strategic Control Within Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 15(2), pages 55-72, June.
    12. Tina C Ambos & Ulf Andersson & Julian Birkinshaw, 2010. "What are the consequences of initiative-taking in multinational subsidiaries?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 41(7), pages 1099-1118, September.
    13. Shige Makino & Kent E Neupert, 2000. "National Culture, Transaction Costs, and the Choice Between Joint Venture and Wholly Owned Subsidiary," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 31(4), pages 705-713, December.
    14. 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;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(5), pages 802-818, September.
    15. Zhaleh Najafi-Tavani & Axèle Giroud & Rudolf R. Sinkovics, 2011. "Knowledge-intensive business services: does dual embeddedness matter?," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(10), pages 1691-1705, November.
    16. Paulo N. Figueiredo, 2011. "The Role of Dual Embeddedness in the Innovative Performance of MNE Subsidiaries: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 417-440, March.
    17. Charles Dhanaraj & Marjorie A Lyles & H Kevin Steensma & Laszlo Tihanyi, 2004. "Managing tacit and explicit knowledge transfer in IJVs: the role of relational embeddedness and the impact on performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 428-442, September.
    18. Carlos Garcia‐Pont & J. Ignacio Canales & Fabrizio Noboa, 2009. "Subsidiary Strategy: The Embeddedness Component," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 182-214, March.
    19. Andreas Koch & Harald Strotmann, 2008. "Absorptive Capacity And Innovation In The Knowledge Intensive Business Service Sector," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(6), pages 511-531.
    20. Ram Mudambi & Pietro Navarra, 2004. "Is knowledge power? Knowledge flows, subsidiary power and rent-seeking within MNCs," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 35(5), pages 385-406, September.
    21. Stephen Tallman & Aya S. Chacar, 2011. "Knowledge Accumulation and Dissemination in MNEs: A Practice‐Based Framework," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 278-304, March.
    22. Birkinshaw, Julian & Hood, Neil & Young, Stephen, 2005. "Subsidiary entrepreneurship, internal and external competitive forces, and subsidiary performance," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 227-248, April.
    23. Andersson, Ulf & Björkman, Ingmar & Forsgren, Mats, 2005. "Managing subsidiary knowledge creation: The effect of control mechanisms on subsidiary local embeddedness," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 521-538, October.
    24. Yamin, Mo & Andersson, Ulf, 2011. "Subsidiary importance in the MNC: What role does internal embeddedness play?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 151-162, April.
    25. Dirk Czarnitzki & Alfred Spielkamp, 2003. "Business services in Germany: bridges for innovation," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 1-30, March.
    26. Peter J. Buckley & Roger Strange, 2011. "The Governance of the Multinational Enterprise: Insights from Internalization Theory," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 460-470, March.
    27. Dörrenbächer, Christoph & Gammelgaard, Jens, 2006. "Subsidiary role development: The effect of micro-political headquarters-subsidiary negotiations on the product, market and value-added scope of foreign-owned subsidiaries," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 266-283, 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. Bhatti, Waheed Akbar & Larimo, Jorma & Carrasco, Inmaculada, 2016. "Strategy's effect on knowledge sharing in host country networks," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 4769-4774.
    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. Ronnié Figueiredo & João José Matos Ferreira, 0. "Spinner Model: Prediction of Propensity to Innovate Based on Knowledge-Intensive Business Services," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    4. Klaus E. Meyer & Chengguang Li & Andreas P. J. Schotter, 2020. "Managing the MNE subsidiary: Advancing a multi-level and dynamic research agenda," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 51(4), pages 538-576, June.
    5. Klaus E. Meyer & Chengguang Li & Andreas P. J. Schotter, 0. "Managing the MNE subsidiary: Advancing a multi-level and dynamic research agenda," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 0, pages 1-39.
    6. Driffield, Nigel & Love, James H. & Yang, Yong, 2016. "Reverse international knowledge transfer in the MNE: (Where) does affiliate performance boost parent performance?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 491-506.
    7. Andreas G. M. NACHBAGAUER, 2016. "Stimulating Sustainability in Multinational Companies: the Significance of Regional Headquarters," Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy Journal, College of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 4(2), pages 215-240, June.
    8. Ming Pu & Pek-Hooi Soh, 2018. "The role of dual embeddedness and organizational learning in subsidiary development," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 373-397, June.
    9. Vlajčić, Davor & Caputo, Andrea & Marzi, Giacomo & Dabić, Marina, 2019. "Expatriates managers’ cultural intelligence as promoter of knowledge transfer in multinational companies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 367-377.
    10. Najafi-Tavani, Zhaleh & Robson, Matthew J. & Zaefarian, Ghasem & Andersson, Ulf & Yu, Chong, 2018. "Building subsidiary local responsiveness: (When) does the directionality of intrafirm knowledge transfers matter?," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 475-492.
    11. Bhatti, Waheed Akbar & Larimo, Jorma & Coudounaris, Dafnis N., 2016. "The effect of experiential learning on subsidiary knowledge and performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1567-1571.
    12. Hitt, Michael A. & Li, Dan & Xu, Kai, 2016. "International strategy: From local to global and beyond," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 58-73.
    13. Wang, Na & Hua, Ying & Wu, Guoying & Zhao, Chunxia & Wang, Yonggui, 2019. "Reverse transfer of innovation and subsidiary power: A moderated mediation model," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 328-337.
    14. 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.
    15. Ilya R. P. Cuypers & Gokhan Ertug & John Cantwell & Akbar Zaheer & Martin Kilduff, 2020. "Making connections: Social networks in international business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 51(5), pages 714-736, July.
    16. Ilya R. P. Cuypers & Gokhan Ertug & John Cantwell & Akbar Zaheer & Martin Kilduff, 0. "Making connections: Social networks in international business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 0, pages 1-23.

    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:worbus:v:49:y:2014:i:1:p:122-131. 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: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620401/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.