Knowledge flows in MNCs

An empirical test and extension of Gupta's & Govindarajan's typology of subsidiary roles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This study offers an empirical test and extension of Gupta and Govindarajan's typology of subsidiary roles based on knowledge inflows and outflows. A four-fold typology of subsidiary roles—global innovators, integrated players, implementors and local innovators—is tested using a sample of 169 subsidiaries of MNCs headquartered in the US, Japan, UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Results confirm the typology and show that different subsidiary roles are associated with different control mechanisms, relative capabilities and product flows. In comparison to earlier studies, our results show an increased differentiation between subsidiaries, as well as an increase in the relative importance of both knowledge and product flows between subsidiaries suggesting that MNCs are getting closer to the ideal-type of the transnational company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-214
JournalInternational Business Review
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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Subsidiary roles
Empirical test
Subsidiaries
Knowledge flow
Relative importance
Innovators
Germany
Control mechanism
Headquarters
Ideal types
Integrated
Japan
Transnational companies
France
The Netherlands

Cite this

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Knowledge flows in MNCs : An empirical test and extension of Gupta's & Govindarajan's typology of subsidiary roles. / Harzing, A.W.K.; Noorderhaven, N.G.

In: International Business Review, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2006, p. 195-214.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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