The Advantage Paradox: Managing Innovation Processes in the Multinational Corporation
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Two important ways that a subsidiary can contribute to the multinational corporation’s (MNC) competitive advantage are innovation development and transfer activities. However ‘the advantage paradox of the MNC’ calls into question a subsidiary’s ability to effectively and efficiently carry out both innovation development and transfer activities. This thesis investigates the validity of existence of ‘the advantage paradox of the MNC’ and explores possible solutions for overcoming it. This is done by conducting research around four questions: 1) In what circumstance can a subsidiary develop novel innovations? 2) In what circumstance can an innovation add value to an innovation developing subsidiary and what kind of value can the innovation add? 3) What are the factors that hinder innovation transfer and what kind of mechanisms are needed to overcome these hindrances? 4) Does innovation developed internally at an MNC transfer better within the MNC, compared to innovation developed externally to an MNC?
The outcome of this thesis shows that the subsidiary faces a dilemma when managing innovation activities which is connected to ‘the advantage paradox of the MNC.’ The dilemma comes from tradeoffs that exist due to the subsidiary’s duties within the MNC and its involvement with external business counterparts. The studies in this thesis confirm that the subsidiary’s business contexts leads to novel innovations but innovation developed with external business partners are more difficult to exploit on a more general basis within the MNC. Although there are solutions to overcome the ‘advantage paradox of the MNC,’ by remedying transfer barriers, the solutions are complex processes and in many cases subsidiaries face predicament of having to choose one benefit over another.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala University, Department of Business Studies , 2013. , 108 p.
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 159
Multinational corporation, Subsidiary, ‘Advantage paradox of the MNC’, Innovation development, Innovation transfer
Research subject Business Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196629ISBN: 978-91-506-2338-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-196629DiVA: diva2:610531
2013-04-26, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Mäkelä, Kristiina, Associate Professor
Forsgren, Mats, ProfessorHolm, Desirée, Associate Professor
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