Career Choice in Management and Entrepreneurship
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Career Choice in Management and Entrepreneurship

A Research Companion

Edited by Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Ayala Malach-Pines

Although a large and steadily growing research literature attests to an interest in management and entrepreneurship, little research has focused on comparative assessment of the career choices and trajectories of managers and entrepreneurs. This timely book fills the gap by presenting an assessment of early influences on the career choice of managers and entrepreneurs, their attitudes at the start of their careers as students, and in their later employment experiences.
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Chapter 10: The Impact of Foreign Subsidiary Managers’ Sociopolitical Positioning on Career Choices and their Subsequent Strategizing: Evidence from German-owned Subsidiaries in France

Christoph Dörrenbächer and Mike Geppert


Christoph Dörrenbächer and Mike Geppert INTRODUCTION Subsidiaries, like multinational corporations (MNCs) as a whole, have a history. Founded or created in a historical situation for a specific end, they develop over time, reflecting multifaceted changes in their internal and external environment. Based on the conceptualization of MNCs as intraorganizational networks (Hedlund, 1986; Ghoshal and Bartlett, 1990), it is especially since the 1990s that subsidiary related research has gained a growing academic interest. This research concentrates on four topics: (1) role specialization of subsidiaries; (2) subsidiaries’ internal and external network relations; (3) headquarters–subsidiary relations; and (4) subsidiary role development, or, in other words, subsidiary evolution (Birkinshaw, 2001). The evolution of subsidiaries over time is mainly seen as a function of subsidiary capabilities, headquarters’ strategic intentions and locationspecific advantages of the country the subsidiary is located in (for an overview see Dörrenbächer and Gammelgaard, 2006). However, relatively little has been said about micro-political processes and key actors’ interests and strategies underlying subsidiary evolution, despite constant claims that MNCs should be understood as political systems, where different groups as well as individual actors try to secure options, realize interests and achieve success (Westney and Zaheer, 2001; Fischer, 2005; Bélanger and Edwards, 2006). Based on three case studies of German subsidiaries in France, this chapter explores how foreign subsidiary managers’ idiosyncratic actions as 240 Foreign subsidiary managers’ sociopolitical positioning 241 well as the political nature of headquarters–subsidiary relations influence subsidiary evolution. In...

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