The Global Brewery Industry
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The Global Brewery Industry

Markets, Strategies, and Rivalries

Edited by Jens Gammelgaard and Christoph Dörrenbächer

This unique book explores some of the key topics of international business through the context of a global industry, focusing on the challenges brewery companies face as they operate in globalized markets. It examines the strategies of individual firms to develop markets and explores new insights into recent company rivalries, both globally and locally. In addition, it offers detailed analysis of some of the major players in the industry through longitudinal studies.
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Chapter 7: Subsidiary strategic responsibilities and autonomy in Carlsberg

Markets, Strategies, and Rivalries

Jens Gammelgaard and Bersant Hobdari


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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