The Role of Headquarters
Edited by Ulf Andersson and Ulf Holm
Ulf Andersson, Ingmar Björkman and Patrick Furu
Ulf Andersson, Peter Ekman and Cecilia Erixon
The theoretical research stream that depicts multinational companies (MNCs) as networked organizations has offered new insights on contemporary enterprises’ way of functioning. However, the majority of the research has focused on external embeddedness, that is, MNC subsidiaries’ local business relationships, and its impact on subsidiary organizational performance. This conceptual chapter addresses the lack of research focusing on internal embeddedness, that is, subsidiary relationships with headquarters and sister subsidiaries. Internal embeddedness is discussed from two dimensions: the internal production network and the MNC manager’s social network. The characteristics of each dimension and how they relate to earlier research, leads to a number of theoretical propositions. The chapter concludes with a discussion on how external and internal embeddedness relate, as well as how they may impact the subsidiary’s (organizational) performance.
In the Right Place at the Right Time!: The Influence of Knowledge Governance Tools on Knowledge Transfer and Utilization in MNEs
Networked Multinational Enterprises in the Modern Global Economy
Ulf Andersson, Peter J. Buckley and Henrik Dellestrand
This article examines the utilization of knowledge transferred between sending and receiving subsidiaries within multinational enterprises. A model was developed and tested on 169 specific knowledge transfer projects. The model explains the utilization of knowledge subject to transfer in terms of hierarchical governance tool efficacy and lateral relationships within the multinational enterprise. The results show that headquarters' involvement during knowledge development does not have any significant impact on subsequent knowledge utilization in the receiving units and, in fact, hierachical governance forms have a negative impact on knowledge utilization. However, lateral relationships are positive stimuli to building subsidiary capabilities in the knowledge transfer process that enhance receiving unit knowledge utilization.