Title: Explaining subsidiaries' knowledge-diffusion behaviours within MNEs

Authors: Mei Hsiu-Ching Ho

Addresses: Eindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies (Ecis), Technology Management Faculty, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Den Dolech 2, 5612AZ, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Abstract: This study explores how subsidiaries can contribute their advantages for the whole MNE in knowledge diffusion processes. The research model includes both organisational factors and local resources in a host country to explain subsidiaries| diffusion behaviours. We carried out an online survey for R&D managers in 15 European countries to collect data about subsidiaries| behaviours. Different multivariate methodologies were used to examine direct and indirect (moderating) effects of the three main factors on knowledge diffusion. Both subsidiaries| innovative characteristics and subsidiaries| network resources can encourage the diffusion behaviours directly. Finally, the linkages between headquarters (HQ) and the subsidiary (e.g., personnel rotation) have both direct and indirect influences on knowledge-diffusion behaviour. The results imply that HQ has to establish a suitable organisational atmosphere to encourage subsidiaries, while subsidiaries should accumulate specific innovativeness or capabilities, and play a brokerage role to share the accumulated knowledge with the whole MNE.

Keywords: knowledge diffusion; subsidiary behaviour; innovative characteristics; network resources; MNEs; MNCs; multinational enterprises; multinational corporations; subsidiaries; headquarters.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2007.015483

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2007 Vol.2 No.2, pp.220 - 240

Available online: 19 Oct 2007 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article