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    Subsidiaries and functional activities in multinational corporations: diversity, interdependence and evolution

    Tolentino, Paz Estrella and Janne, Odile and Chen, P.-C. (2012) Subsidiaries and functional activities in multinational corporations: diversity, interdependence and evolution. In: 2012 Academy of International Business Annual Meeting, 2012, Washington, DC, USA. (Unpublished)

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    Despite a substantial literature on the role, importance and management of subsidiaries and functions for the multinational corporation (MNC), there is still insufficient understanding of the links between the strategic needs of the firm and its organisational form. The paper addresses two key debates in the literature. The first concerns the continuing relevance, nature and evolution of the foreign subsidiary in relation to the more recent conceptualisation of the MNC's organisation as a differentiated network of activities. The second concerns the controversy on whether MNCs are moving (and converging) towards a ‘new' complex organisational model. In our empirical research on American IT companies in Taiwan, we determine that a systemic approach to the integration-responsiveness (IR) framework is useful to investigate the links between subsidiary-level functional activities and subsidiaries' strategic roles, and how these interact and co-evolve over time to embody increased strategic and organizational complexity and challenges for modern MNCs. We establish that subsidiaries evolve towards more complexity in ways that are specific to their initial strategic position and functional level characteristics. Conversely, the evolution of functional units discriminates among strategy types of subsidiaries.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck Centre for
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2014 13:08
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:13


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