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Subsidiaries as Sources and Recipients of Innovations in the Multinational Corporation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Technological advancement and innovation lie at the core of the competitiveness of firms. For the multinational corporation (MNC), the ability to leverage innovations and value-added resources within the MNC is an important element of competitive advantage. This thesis deals with the development and transfer of innovations in the MNC, specifically considering the role of subsidiaries as sources and recipients of innovations. The results are based on the analysis of quantitative data from two empirical studies and are presented in four papers.

The findings suggest that subsidiaries’ collaborations with counterparts external to the MNC have a decisive impact on the development of novel innovations, whereas collaborating with counterparts within the MNC has a weaker effect. An interesting finding is that the combined effect of internal and external collaboration during the development process can be detrimental to innovation novelty.

Concerning the transfer of innovations within the MNC, the findings indicate that characteristics of the innovation and of the relationship between the sender and the recipient units affect whether intra-MNC innovation transfer is useful for the recipient. Innovation novelty has a positive impact on the usefulness of a received innovation to the recipient subsidiary, whereas innovation specificity has a negative impact. Furthermore, the mutual commitment of the sender and the recipient to the transfer of the innovation positively influences usefulness.

The results show that the embeddedness of a recipient subsidiary’s corporate and external network relationships contributes to that part of the business performance that is attributable to the exploitation of a received innovation. However, high relationship embeddedness in the subsidiary’s external business network, in combination with a received innovation that is unique, has a detrimental impact on the recipient’s innovation-related business performance.

Finally, intra-MNC transfer of innovations contributes to knowledge flows from the subsidiary to its local customers and suppliers and to local competitors. Competitive pressure in the local business environment and the embeddedness of the subsidiary’s relationships with important local customers and suppliers influence these knowledge flows. Moreover, knowledge flows within the subsidiary’s most important customer and supplier relationships can result in knowledge flows to local competitors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen , 2008. , 89 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 136
Keyword [en]
Business studies, Multinational corporation, innovation, subsidiary, innovation development, innovation transfer
Keyword [sv]
Företagsekonomi
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8599OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-8599DiVA: diva2:171718
Public defence
2008-04-25, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-04-03 Created: 2008-04-03 Last updated: 2011-03-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Family or friends? The impact of internal and external collaboration on MNC subsidiary innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Family or friends? The impact of internal and external collaboration on MNC subsidiary innovation
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96964 (URN)
Available from: 2008-04-03 Created: 2008-04-03 Last updated: 2011-03-17
2. The usefulness of innovation transfer in the multinational corporation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The usefulness of innovation transfer in the multinational corporation
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96965 (URN)
Available from: 2008-04-03 Created: 2008-04-03 Last updated: 2011-03-17
3. Embeddedness and innovation exploitation in MNC subsidiaries – Effects on business performance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Embeddedness and innovation exploitation in MNC subsidiaries – Effects on business performance
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96966 (URN)
Available from: 2008-04-03 Created: 2008-04-03 Last updated: 2011-03-17
4. Intra-MNC transfer of innovations and knowledge flows from subsidiary to location
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intra-MNC transfer of innovations and knowledge flows from subsidiary to location
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96967 (URN)
Available from: 2008-04-03 Created: 2008-04-03 Last updated: 2013-11-22

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