Markets, Strategies, and Rivalries
New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Jens Gammelgaard and Christoph Dörrenbächer
Chapter 7: Subsidiary strategic responsibilities and autonomy in Carlsberg
The configuration of value-adding activities by multinational corporations (MNCs) is one of the primary research themes in international business research (Griffith et al. 2008). Among the most important aspects of these activities are the degree of autonomy and the strategic responsibilities allocated to subsidiaries. In this chapter, we analyse the strategic development of MNC subsidiaries in the brewery sector by taking a longitudinal view of some of the foreign breweries acquired by the Danish MNC brewer Carlsberg over time. In particular, we focus on changes in subsidiary autonomy and in the charters of the subsidiaries in terms of the value chain activities delegated to them. ‘Autonomy’ is defined as decision-making rights at the sub-unit level. It reflects the ability of these units to make decisions on issues that are handled at a higher level in comparable organizations (Brooke 1984, p. 9). ‘Strategic responsibilities’ are defined as subsidiaries mandates detailing the value chain activities delegated to the unit and the resources the subsidiary can use for those activities.
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