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The Down Side of Social Integration: A Discussion of Precarious HQ – subsidiary Relations and Knowledge Transfer
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4425-9367
BI Norwegian Business School.
BI Norwegian Business School.
BI Norwegian Business School.
2018 (English)In: Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business, 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper conceptualizes the knowledge transfer implications of social (lateral) integration mechanisms in the MNE. The generation and transfer of knowledge among geographically dispersed units is one of the primary concerns for the multinational enterprise (MNE) (Ghoshal & Bartlett, 1990; Nohria & Ghoshal, 1997). One of the most used tools for MNE headquarters to stimulate knowledge transfer between subsidiaries, is social or lateral integration mechanisms (for example, committees, meetings, liaisons, expats) (Baliga & Jaeger, 1984). Social mechanisms are perceived as costlier than alternative coordination mechanisms (i.e. formal or centralized coordination mechanisms), but a range of studies have found that these mechanisms open up for communication, dialogue and trust which in turn facilitate knowledge sharing and capability development (i.e. Gupta and Govindarajan, 1991). In a study of an MNE with activities in more than 24 countries, we have data from 115 foreign units that inform on the extent to which the unit is socially integrated with the rest of the MNE, the extent of knowledge transfer between units as well as costs of bargaining between the unit and headquarters. Our findings suggest that social integration on the level of the individual employee increases knowledge transfer between units, but social integration viewed from the management level in the units has the opposite effect. In addition, social integration increases bargaining costs. These findings suggest that there is a darker side of social integration in MNE’s that warrant scholarly attention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45563OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-45563DiVA, id: diva2:1361385
Conference
AIB 2018 Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, 2018
Available from: 2019-10-16 Created: 2019-10-16 Last updated: 2019-10-16Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Ulf

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf