اختصاص دفتر مرکزی منابع به پروژه انتقال نوآوری در شرکت های چند ملیتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|11498||2011||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Management, Volume 17, Issue 4, December 2011, Pages 263–277
This paper examines headquarters allocation of resources to specific innovation transfer projects within the multinational enterprise between sending and receiving subsidiaries, focusing on the role of the subsidiary hosting the transfer. Resource allocation is of key strategic importance for the organization given that resources are limited in the multinational enterprise and that headquarters is the principal actor in distributing resources internally between competing innovation transfer projects. Findings from a dataset of 169 innovation transfer projects reveal that headquarters tend to favor established lines of innovation at the subsidiary level, as opposed to overall subsidiary operational relatedness for additional corporate resources. It is found that headquarters also tend to allocate resources to acquired subsidiaries' transfer projects to a higher degree than to those of greenfield ones. A curvilinear effect is found for subsidiary bargaining power which is initially positive and subsequently negative. The results highlight that certain subsidiary and innovation traits are determinants of headquarters resource allocation.
In recent years' literature on the multinational enterprise (MNE), it is almost self-evident that the competitive advantage of MNEs is highly related to knowledge. This competitive advantage can be found not only in the capability to develop knowledge but also in the capability to transfer knowledge within the MNE (cf., Kogut and Zander, 1992 and Kogut and Zander, 1993). Knowledge can be characterized in terms of innovations (Kreiner and Mouritzen, 2003; Teece, 1986), which have come to be considered a critical resource and a source of value creation for the MNE (Barney, 1991, Franko, 1989 and Hitt et al., 1996). The development and deployment of these innovations are increasingly taking place in globally dispersed subsidiaries, actors which have been put forth as key figures in the MNE irrespective of how this type of firm is conceptualized, i.e., as a ‘heterarchy’ (Hedlund, 1986), ‘transnational firm’ (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1989), ‘differentiated network’ (Nohria and Ghoshal, 1997) or ‘metanational’ (Doz et al., 2001). The cost of developing new innovations is substantial, which subsequently has the effect that exploiting existing innovations, in terms of internal transfer, becomes crucial. Some twenty years ago, Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) noted that the development and dispersion of innovations was becoming a key strategic challenge for MNEs. Although generally lower than the cost of developing new innovations, the cost of innovation transfer is far from trivial (Teece, 1977). However, innovation transfer does not take place automatically, and barriers to transfer exist (Gupta and Govindarajan, 2000). In this setting headquarters can intervene in subsidiary level activities and give strategic direction (Rugman and Verbeke, 2001) or even force innovation transfer to take place (Foss and Pedersen, 2002). Put differently, headquarters has an important role in governing structures and processes within the MNE, and the transfer of innovations presents a good arena for investigating questions related to headquarters knowledge governing role. Research on multi-unit firms, such as MNEs has suggested that an important function of headquarters is to run an internal market for resources, often conceptualized as internal capital markets which effectively put resources to use in those subsidiaries where headquarters finds the best strategic use for them (Khanna and Tice, 2001, Lamont, 1997, Mudambi, 1999, Shin and Stulz, 1998 and Stein, 1997). The MNE organization allows headquarters to exercise control rights to allocate corporate resources to a limited number of promising transfer projects, between a sending and a receiving subsidiary in the MNE (see Fig. 1), anticipating corporate-wide value added. While it may be clear to most observers that headquarters can allocate additional resources to specific subsidiaries and innovation transfer projects, it is less clear which subsidiaries and transfer projects receive this support. That is, which subsidiaries and which transfer projects receive resources from headquarters? In trying to answer these questions the internal market for MNE resources as dictated by headquarters in intra-MNE transfer projects is delineated.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study is a first step toward exploring headquarters involvement in relation to intra-firm competition. In doing so, this study contributes to theory on the MNE and international management at large by conceptually developing the role of headquarters as a critical lynch-pin in the transfer of innovations across subsidiaries in a networked organization, making it possible to relate the role of the hosting subsidiary to the incidence of innovation transfer and the resources allocated by headquarters. In this setting headquarters can intervene in subsidiary level activities and give strategic direction (Rugman and Verbeke, 2001), thereby suggesting that headquarters play an important function in governing structures and processes within the MNE. When discussing resources financial resources are explicitly excluded, which can be seen as a limitation of the study and an arena for further research. If headquarters allocates different kinds of resources differently is an interesting area for investigation, i.e., is there a difference between financial resources measured in absolute numbers and non-financial resources? Furthermore, some of the measurements consist of subjective estimations made by the respondents. The use of perceptual measurements may be problematic because of social desirability and self-assessment biases. However, this problem is mitigated by the fact that our data was collected from key informants through face-to-face interviews. It is acknowledged that this study focuses on the subsidiary hosting the innovation transfer, and not on the receiver characteristics. Although this is something that may influence the resource allocation process, our data does not allow for such an analysis and this is a limitation. Finally, another limitation is that the study only uses data from the subsidiary perspective and not from headquarters', which may bias the results in favor of the subsidiary view. However, the estimations made by the subsidiaries are likely to be well informed and conservative estimations of headquarters' resource allocation. New arenas for further research would be to investigate the role of headquarters for transfer performance. There is little knowledge concerning the effects of headquarters involving itself in the transfer process on transfer performance, i.e., how does headquarters involvement directly relate to performance and competitive advantage? One research question to be examined would then be to investigate if headquarters involvement will add additional value to the transfer process? The control and autonomy dimension has been thoroughly researched. However, the question whether these forces interact in the setting of intra-firm competition needs to be further looked into. How the specific innovation characteristics affect headquarters involvement is also an area for further research, and a more fine-grained measure of distance between subsidiaries and headquarters could be developed in relation to when and why headquarters involves itself in operations at subsidiary level. The operationalization of headquarters resource allocation as involvement in the transfer can be seen as an extension and specification of the work of Bouquet et al. (2009) who call for more research into the concrete attention practices of headquarters in subsidiary level activities. Hence, this is an area to which the paper makes a contribution. This paper also has important implications for managers in, for instance, M&A situations depending on if managers can anticipate headquarters involvement or not in some situations. Furthermore, the findings indicate what factors are important for headquarters when allocating resources. Hence, managers at subsidiary level can potentially frame their communication and perception of the focal subsidiary in different ways in order to get or not get headquarters' support depending on resources being valued or autonomy being desired. This can be seen as an important feature of the long-term evolution of the subsidiary and the MNE.