IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Micro-political aspects of mandate development and learning in local subsidiaries of multinational corporations


  • Dörrenbächer, Christoph
  • Geppert, Mike


Beyond functional-structuralist approaches this paper sheds some light on micro political aspects of mandate development and learning processes in multinational corporations (MNC). As classical micro-political studies have shown, management behaviour and learning are not only constrained or enabled by certain structural and (national) cultural patterns, but have its own political agendas and are shaped by individual interests which leads to game playing, active or passive resistance and (re)negotiation of the 'rules of the game'. Based on the assumption that actors are neither the organs of given structures nor acting fully autonomous, the paper focuses on how subsidiary managers interpret and integrate individual, organisational as well as home and host country institutional factors into certain strategies of action. By discussing critical events in mini case studies on mandate development and learning in German subsidiaries in France we will highlight the interactive dynamics between key-actors micro-political strategies and particular institutional settings. Here we, firstly, discuss institutionalist approaches and investigate how different forms of home and host country embeddedness do influence the development of distinct managerial competences and decision making strategies at the subsidiary level. The paper refers then to the question how the overall strategy and multinational organisational design and policies relate to individual interests of key subsidiary actors. These can to higher or lower degrees be influenced by e.g. differences in nationalities, professional backgrounds as well as career stages, orientations and aspirations. By integrating these diverse relational layers, the paper will provide a more dynamic actor centred approach stressing both, the micro-political aspects and interactive construction of intra and intersubsidiary power relations, a key variable to explain mandate development and learning processes in MNCs.

Suggested Citation

  • Dörrenbächer, Christoph & Geppert, Mike, 2005. "Micro-political aspects of mandate development and learning in local subsidiaries of multinational corporations," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Internationalization and Organization SP III 2005-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbint:spiii2005202

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Fuchs Martina & Winter Johannes, 2008. "Competencies in subsidiaries of multinational companies," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, De Gruyter, vol. 52(1), pages 209-220, October.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:zbw:wzbint:spiii2005202. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.