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  • 1.
    Ciabuschi, Francesco
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Kong, Lingshuang
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Su, Cong
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Knowledge sourcing from advanced markets subsidiaries: political embeddedness and reverse knowledge transfer barriers in emerging-market multinationals2017In: Industrial and Corporate Change, ISSN 0960-6491, E-ISSN 1464-3650, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 311-332Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on emerging-market multinationals and their intent to source knowledge from advanced countries. A single in-depth case study of a Chinese state-owned multinational is used to shed light on the relationship between political embeddedness and the potential to reverse knowledge transfer from advanced market subsidiaries. Specifically, we argue that a strong home-country political embeddedness enhances specific organizational barriers to reverse knowledge transfer, which undermines the strategic intent of knowledge-seeking internationalization, common to much Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by emerging-market multinationals in recent years. This article contributes to research on knowledge sourcing within the context of south-north FDI by highlighting specific effects of political embeddedness at organizational level, which are critical for the possibilities to reverse knowledge transfer; our study is also relevant to international business, as new empirical insights related to the international organization and management of state-owned multinationals are discussed.

  • 2.
    Kong, Lingshuang
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    The Modern Journey to the West: Exploring Key Factors Influencing Reverse Knowledge Transfer in Emerging-market Multinationals2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As latecomers to the world economy, emerging-market multinational corporations (EMNCs) often use international expansion as a ‘springboard’ for seeking and accessing advanced knowledge from overseas, particularly from advanced markets, with the goal of offsetting their competitive weaknesses and catching up with their Western counterparts. This behavior is conceptualized as the springboard perspective formulated by Luo and Tung (2007). From this perspective, reverse knowledge transfer (RKT) from subsidiaries to home-country units is a compulsory path to achieve innovation catch-up in EMNCs. This thesis explores reverse knowledge transfer in EMNCs and its key influencing factors, an important and timely phenomenon that has so far received little attention in research.

    Empirical data were collected through a combination of a qualitative case study of one Chinese state-owned multinational and a survey of Chinese multinationals. Results suggest that headquarters’ political relationships in home countries both promote and inhibit RKT practices in EMNCs. Specifically, headquarters’ political relationships are found to enhance the motivation to seek and demand knowledge from subsidiaries. However, at the same time, these political relationships hinder RKT by reducing headquarters’ absorptive capacity, subsidiary willingness and headquarters’ control over subsidiaries, and by increasing the organizational distance between headquarters and subsidiaries. Thus, this study highlights the fact that political relationships can be a liability for cross-border knowledge acquisition. These results contrast with many prior studies, which have tended to view political ties mostly as a source of competitive advantage for EMNCs during internationalization.

    This study also shows how subsidiary willingness to transfer knowledge is restricted by headquarters’ political ties and a large organizational distance between headquarters and subsidiaries in EMNCs. However, the low willingness of subsidiaries to transfer knowledge can be ameliorated if expatriate managers have good-quality relationships with subsidiary local managers. Moreover, the findings suggest that expatriate managers do not engage directly in RKT through their relationship ties. Instead, their relationship ties with local managers can enhance the extent of RKT by stimulating subsidiary willingness. This finding challenges the view of expatriate social ties as channels for transferring knowledge.

    By highlighting the relevance of headquarters’ home-country political relationships and expatriate managers’ relationships in the RKT practices of EMNCs, this thesis enriches the literature on reverse knowledge transfer, on the political relationships of EMNCs and on expatriation. In addition, it contributes to the view of multinationals as a differentiated network. This research also contributes to the understanding of the antecedents and difficulties behind the logic of springboard internationalization and extends the knowledge of intra-organizational agency problems in the context of expatriates and reverse knowledge transfer.

    List of papers
    1. Subsidiary Knowledge Outflows in Multinationals: A Review and Research Agenda on Emerging-market Multinationals
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Subsidiary Knowledge Outflows in Multinationals: A Review and Research Agenda on Emerging-market Multinationals
    (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-363925 (URN)
    Available from: 2018-10-21 Created: 2018-10-21 Last updated: 2018-10-21
    2. Knowledge sourcing from advanced markets subsidiaries: political embeddedness and reverse knowledge transfer barriers in emerging-market multinationals
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Knowledge sourcing from advanced markets subsidiaries: political embeddedness and reverse knowledge transfer barriers in emerging-market multinationals
    2017 (English)In: Industrial and Corporate Change, ISSN 0960-6491, E-ISSN 1464-3650, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 311-332Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on emerging-market multinationals and their intent to source knowledge from advanced countries. A single in-depth case study of a Chinese state-owned multinational is used to shed light on the relationship between political embeddedness and the potential to reverse knowledge transfer from advanced market subsidiaries. Specifically, we argue that a strong home-country political embeddedness enhances specific organizational barriers to reverse knowledge transfer, which undermines the strategic intent of knowledge-seeking internationalization, common to much Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by emerging-market multinationals in recent years. This article contributes to research on knowledge sourcing within the context of south-north FDI by highlighting specific effects of political embeddedness at organizational level, which are critical for the possibilities to reverse knowledge transfer; our study is also relevant to international business, as new empirical insights related to the international organization and management of state-owned multinationals are discussed.

    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-321347 (URN)10.1093/icc/dtx001 (DOI)000397948400007 ()
    Available from: 2017-05-03 Created: 2017-05-03 Last updated: 2018-10-21
    3. The paradox of political ties on headquarters-subsidiary motives for knowledge transfer in Chinese multinationals: The importance of organizational distance
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>The paradox of political ties on headquarters-subsidiary motives for knowledge transfer in Chinese multinationals: The importance of organizational distance
    (English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
    National Category
    Social Sciences Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-349154 (URN)
    Available from: 2018-04-22 Created: 2018-04-22 Last updated: 2018-10-21
    4. Expatriate managers' relationships and reverse knowledge transfer within emerging market MNCs: The mediating role of subsidiary willingness
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Expatriate managers' relationships and reverse knowledge transfer within emerging market MNCs: The mediating role of subsidiary willingness
    2018 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 93, p. 216-229Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the effects that expatriate managers' relationships within multinationals have on reverse knowledge transfer. Specifically, drawing on agency theory, we characterize how expatriate managers' relationships with subsidiary local managers, and with headquarters' managers, influence subsidiary willingness and reverse knowledge transfer. Based on a survey of 128 subsidiaries in 73 Chinese multinationals, we show how a good-quality relationship between expatriate managers and subsidiary local managers has positive effects on subsidiary willingness, which acts as a mediator between this relationship quality and the extent of reverse knowledge transfer. The paper contributes to the international business and knowledge transfer literature by generating new insights into whether and how expatriate managers' relationships within multinationals can help reduce agency problems and support reverse knowledge transfer processes. Understanding the potential role of expatriates in relation to reverse knowledge transfer is particularly important within the context of emerging market multinationals employing knowledge-seeking strategies overseas.

    Keywords
    Emerging market multinationals, Reverse knowledge transfer, Expatriate managers, Subsidiary willingness, Headquarters-subsidiary relationship, Agency theory
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-360421 (URN)10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.05.045 (DOI)000449245800018 ()
    Available from: 2018-09-13 Created: 2018-09-13 Last updated: 2019-06-27Bibliographically approved
  • 3.
    Kong, Lingshuang
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Ciabuschi, Francesco
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Martín Martín, Oscar
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies. Department of Business Administration, Public University of Navarre, Spain; INARBE (Institute for Advanced Research in Business and Economics), Spain.
    Expatriate managers' relationships and reverse knowledge transfer within emerging market MNCs: The mediating role of subsidiary willingness2018In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 93, p. 216-229Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the effects that expatriate managers' relationships within multinationals have on reverse knowledge transfer. Specifically, drawing on agency theory, we characterize how expatriate managers' relationships with subsidiary local managers, and with headquarters' managers, influence subsidiary willingness and reverse knowledge transfer. Based on a survey of 128 subsidiaries in 73 Chinese multinationals, we show how a good-quality relationship between expatriate managers and subsidiary local managers has positive effects on subsidiary willingness, which acts as a mediator between this relationship quality and the extent of reverse knowledge transfer. The paper contributes to the international business and knowledge transfer literature by generating new insights into whether and how expatriate managers' relationships within multinationals can help reduce agency problems and support reverse knowledge transfer processes. Understanding the potential role of expatriates in relation to reverse knowledge transfer is particularly important within the context of emerging market multinationals employing knowledge-seeking strategies overseas.

  • 4.
    Lingshuang, Kong
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Subsidiary Knowledge Outflows in Multinationals: A Review and Research Agenda on Emerging-market MultinationalsIn: Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Su, Cong
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Kong, Lingshuang
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Institutional Distance as a Moderating Effect on the Impact of Home-country Political Embeddedness in State MNCs from Emerging Markets on Subsidiary Embeddedness2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The political and business embeddedness of foreign subsidiaries in multinationals have been extensively researched based on the multinationals originating from advanced economies. It is acknowledged that subsidiary local embeddedness is essential for the development of MNCs and their subsidiaries. In response to the emerging phenomenon of the sharp growth of state multinationals from emerging markets, this conceptual paper will study the impacts of home-country political embeddedness of state multinationals from emerging markets on the political and business embeddedness of subsidiaries by considering the institutional distance between home and host countries. It is argued that the institutional distance between home and host countries plays a moderating role in shaping the effects of home-country political embeddedness of state multinationals on subsidiary local embeddedness. Based on the literature on state-owned enterprises and the management of multinationals, we develop five propositions. We argue that in the host country with smaller institutional distance, the home-country political embeddedness of state multinationals from emerging markets can positively influence both political and business embeddedness of subsidiaries, while in the host country with larger institutional distance, the home-country political embeddedness may positively or negatively influence political embeddedness of subsidiaries, and negatively affect subsidiary business embeddedness.

  • 6.
    Su, Cong
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Kong, Lingshuang
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Ciabuschi, Francesco
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Holm, Ulf
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Demand and willingness for knowledge transfer in springboard subsidiaries of Chinese multinationals2020In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 109, p. 297-309Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is often assumed that Chinese multinationals invest overseas to obtain knowledge. Acknowledging political ties as an important aspect of Chinese multinationals, we investigate the respective interests of headquarters and subsidiaries to support knowledge transfer from host countries to China. Based on data from 177 headquarters-subsidiary relationships, our findings indicate that political ties of Chinese headquarters increase the organizational distance between headquarters and subsidiaries. This distance has a positive impact on headquarters’ demand for subsidiary knowledge transfer, but a negative effect on the subsidiaries’ willingness to actually transfer knowledge. This suggests that Chinese multinationals with strong political ties have to spend efforts in aligning the motives of headquarters and subsidiaries concerning knowledge transfer practices. This study contributes to the research on Chinese multinationals, cross-border knowledge acquisition, and the springboard perspective by shedding light on post-internationalization managerial challenges related to a knowledge-seeking strategy.

  • 7.
    Su, Cong
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Kong, Lingshuang
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Ciabuschi, Francesco
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Holm, Ulf
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    The Effects of Political Ties and Organizational Distance in Chinese MNCs on Knowledge Acquisition2018In: Academy of Management, 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    From the ‘springboard perspective’, Chinese multinationals are assumed to make knowledge-seeking overseas investments. These investments should be followed by headquarters demands for knowledge transfer from their subsidiaries, particularly those located in advanced markets and running R&D activities, but that is not always the case. Acknowledging political influence as an important unique aspect of emerging-countries organizations, this study is set to generate new knowledge on what drives HQ demand for subsidiary knowledge transfer in Chinese multinationals. Based on the survey data of 128 headquarters-subsidiary dyadic relationships within 80 Chinese multinationals, our findings indicate specifically that political ties of Chinese headquarters enhance organizational distance between home- and host- organizations, which triggers higher demand of knowledge from subsidiaries by headquarters. But, by showing how subsidiary willingness to transfer knowledge (the voice of subsidiaries) is an important driver of headquarters demand of knowledge (the attention of headquarters), we identify a paradox as organizational distance at the same time augment headquarters demand and diminished subsidiary willingness to transfer. This study contributes to international business literature, particularly concerning emerging-market multinationals, cross-border knowledge acquisition and distance, by indicating the indirect effects of political ties and the paradox effects of organizational distance on headquarters knowledge transfer demand.

  • 8.
    Su, Cong
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Kong, Lingshuang
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Ciabuschi, Francesco
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Holm, Ulf
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    The paradox of political ties on headquarters-subsidiary motives for knowledge transfer in Chinese multinationals: The importance of organizational distanceIn: Article in journal (Refereed)
1 - 8 of 8
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