Is knowledge power? Knowledge flows, subsidiary power and rent-seeking within MNCs
In recent years, as multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiaries have become more closely linked to international networks, their knowledge intensity has risen, and some of their R&D has gained a more creative role. Simultaneously, and often connectedly, many subsidiaries have acquired considerable strategic independence in all aspects of their operations, and therefore are able to exercise considerable intra-firm bargaining power to influence the distribution of the firm's resources. In this context, we suggest that intra-MNC knowledge flows are a key determinant of subsidiary bargaining power. We argue that subsidiary managers can exploit such power to pursue their own ends. Such rent-seeking behavior is implicit in much of the literature on managerialism, but our analysis suggests that such behavior can now occur in headquarters–subsidiary and subsidiary–subsidiary relations. Thus subsidiary strategic independence, designed to enhance the competitiveness of outputs (market knowledge) and inputs (asset-seeking and learning), can be corroded when the pursuit of subsidiary objectives encourages rent-seeking. Empirical analysis of a sample of high-technology subsidiaries in the UK provides strong support for the theory. We examine several avenues whereby the incentives of units within the MNC can be aligned. Journal of International Business Studies (2004) 35, 385–406. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400093
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 35 (2004)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK|
Web: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/pal/subscribe/index.html Email:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:35:y:2004:i:5:p:385-406. 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: (Daniel Foley)
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.