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Subsidiary managers’ knowledge mobilizations: Unpacking emergent knowledge flows

Author

Listed:
  • Esther Tippmann

    (UCD - University College Dublin [Dublin])

  • Pamela Sharkey Scott

    (Dublin Institute of Technology - Dublin Institute of Technology)

  • Vincent Mangematin

    (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble École de Management (GEM))

Abstract

Knowledge flows are a key source of advantage for multinational corporations (MNCs). As research on subsidiary knowledge flows to date has mostly focused on organization-level investigations, often using quantitative methodologies, the nuances of knowledge flows practices and their micro-foundations require further theoretical development. Using detailed qualitative data on 40 cases of subsidiary managers' knowledge mobilizations, this paper unravels some of the micro-level practices of knowledge mobilizations in MNCs. We find that subsidiary manager's knowledge mobilization practices initiate a complex pattern of subsidiary knowledge inflows, pinpointing the significance of lateral and bottom up exchanges (locally as well as internationally) and the emergent nature of utilizing practices, specialist skills and expertise, as well as experience and advice to develop solutions. We use these insights to distinguish between two types of subsidiary knowledge flows: deliberate and emergent knowledge flows and highlight how their differences have profound implications for the investigation of subsidiary and MNC knowledge flows and their micro-foundations.

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Tippmann & Pamela Sharkey Scott & Vincent Mangematin, 2014. "Subsidiary managers’ knowledge mobilizations: Unpacking emergent knowledge flows," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00864324, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:gemptp:hal-00864324
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2013.09.001
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.grenoble-em.com/hal-00864324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:bla:jomstd:v:54:y:2017:i:4:p:455-482 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. repec:eee:worbus:v:53:y:2018:i:4:p:529-539 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dasí, Àngels & Pedersen, Torben & Gooderham, Paul N. & Elter, Frank & Hildrum, Jarle, 2017. "The effect of organizational separation on individuals’ knowledge sharing in MNCs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 431-446.
    5. 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.

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    Keywords

    MNC/MNE; knowledge flow.; knowledge transfers; knowledge flow; knowledge seeking behavior. middle managers; subsidiary;

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