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In Search of MNC Competitive Advantage: The Role of Foreign Subsidiaries as Creators and Disseminators of Knowledge
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research on the multinational corporation (MNC) has highlighted the development of knowledge that occurs in geographically dispersed subsidiaries, and several scholars have emphasized the significance of subsidiary knowledge for the success of the MNC. This thesis contributes to the understanding of how knowledge is developed within MNC subsidiaries and how the development of subsidiary knowledge is related to the transfer of subsidiary knowledge and subsidiary impact on the performance of the larger MNC.

The empirical setting consists of a combination of quantitative and qualitative data. The results of the empirical studies suggest that the development of subsidiary knowledge is contingent upon the business conditions within the local environment and, in particularly, interactive learning within relationships with important business actors external to the organization. Furthermore, the findings show that the development of knowledge within these subsidiaries is driven not only by external actors, but also by business relationships within the corporation. The results reveal that, whether a subsidiary learns and develops knowledge from external or internal sources has direct implications on how the knowledge can be used and applied by other units within the MNC, which in turn affects the extent to which the subsidiary can contribute to the performance of the MNC. It is also revealed that the barriers to transfer are especially manifest in situations in which a subsidiary is deeply embedded in relationships with demanding customers or suppliers. Thus, the embeddedness of subsidiaries in external relationships is a constraining factor for knowledge transfer. In situations in which the subsidiary is deeply embedded in its local market, the headquarters can influence the transfer across subsidiaries through the use of means such as centres of excellence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen , 2004. , 201 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 110
Keyword [en]
Business studies, MNC Competitive Advantage, Subsidiary Knowledge, Knowledge Transfer, Learning, Centre of Excellence
Keyword [sv]
Företagsekonomi
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4577OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-4577DiVA: diva2:165199
Public defence
2004-10-08, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22 Last updated: 2013-07-05Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Relationship Configuration and Competence Development in MNC Subsidiaries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Relationship Configuration and Competence Development in MNC Subsidiaries
2001 (English)In: Business Network Learning / [ed] Håkan Hpkansson & Jan Johansson, Pergamon Press, 2001, 185-205 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pergamon Press, 2001
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92206 (URN)978-0080437798 (ISBN)
Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22 Last updated: 2013-11-22Bibliographically approved
2. The Dilemma of Developing a Centre of Excellence: A Case Study of ABB Generation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Dilemma of Developing a Centre of Excellence: A Case Study of ABB Generation
2000 (English)In: The Emergence and Impact of MNC Centres of Excellence: A Subsidiary Perspective / [ed] Ulf Holm & Torben Pedersen, Palgrave Macmillan, 2000, 240-258 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2000
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92207 (URN)978-0312229177 (ISBN)
Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22 Last updated: 2013-11-22Bibliographically approved
3. The Impact of External and Internal Learning in Subsidiaries on Knowledge Transfer and MNC Performance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Impact of External and Internal Learning in Subsidiaries on Knowledge Transfer and MNC Performance
(English)In: International Business Review, ISSN 0969-5931, E-ISSN 1873-6149Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92208 (URN)
Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Headquarters Impact on Subsidiary Knowledge Transfer: The Issue of the External Embeddedness of Subsidiary Knowledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Headquarters Impact on Subsidiary Knowledge Transfer: The Issue of the External Embeddedness of Subsidiary Knowledge
(English)In: International Journal of Management, ISSN 0813-0183Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92209 (URN)
Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Competence Development through Business Relationships or Competitive Environment?: Subsidiary Impact on MNC Competitive Advantage
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Competence Development through Business Relationships or Competitive Environment?: Subsidiary Impact on MNC Competitive Advantage
2005 (English)In: Management International Review (MIR), Vol. 45, no 2005/2, 197-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-74367 (URN)
Available from: 2006-04-28 Created: 2006-04-28 Last updated: 2013-07-05

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