The Role of Headquarters
New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Ulf Andersson and Ulf Holm
This book is the result of an international workshop on the role of headquarters in the contemporary multinational. It was held in September, 2007 At Uppsala University in connection with the retirement of Professor Mats Forsgren. Mats’ research has, to a great extent, considered the perspective of the subsidiary, dealing with issues like subsidiary power and the development and transfer of knowledge and innovation, often from a business network perspective. Whilst recognizing the importance of subsidiaries and their business networks, he has always accepted the coexistence of a hierarchical force manifested by corporate headquarters. However, from a business network point of view, our knowledge about the role of headquarters is still limited. What are the managerial roles of headquarters in connection to subsidiaries that are embedded in activities that occur in the corporate and external networks? Few studies have explicitly dealt with this issue. Conversely, the received literature on top team management in the areas of strategic management, corporate design, strategic planning and control has delivered a vast list of functions that the headquarters take on or should undertake. In particular, researchers have devoted their time to the roles the headquarters adopt in association with the economic rationale for the existence of the multinational and with how headquarters create value or act to minimize losses. This book does not develop a systematic list of the functions of headquarters. Nor is it restricted to a network perspective. From different views on the multinational corporation and its environment, the various chapters address...