Handbook on International Alliance and Network Research
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Handbook on International Alliance and Network Research

Edited by Jorma Larimo, Niina Nummela and Tuija Mainela

Over the past few decades, alliance and networks have been generally examined individually. This Handbook sheds new light on this research by combining the two topics and focuses on highlighting their similarities. The expert contributors discuss topics surrounding the state-of-the-art in alliance and network research, conceptual development in alliance and network research and empirical evidence of international alliances and networks. They combine diverse types of studies including literature reviews, conceptual papers and empirical studies in order to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the topic.
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Chapter 6: Internal MNC structures’ bearing on externally embedded subsidiaries’ organizational performance

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.

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