Title: Innovation process in the automobile MNCs: implications for the role of the international subsidiaries

Authors: Enzo Baglieri; Marcos Bruno; Eduardo Vasconcellos; Alberto Grando

Addresses: SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Via Bocconi 8, I-20136, Milan, Italy ' SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Via Bocconi 8, I-20136, Milan, Italy; Department of Business Administration at FEA/USP, University of São Paulo (FEA/USP), Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 908, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil ' Department of Business Administration at FEA/USP, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 908, 05508-900, São Paulo, Brazil ' SDA, Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Via Bocconi 8, I-20136, Milan, Italy

Abstract: The scope of the present work is to provide insights into the emerging flows of innovation in the multinational corporations (MNCs) and to present some reflections for executives as how to leverage on the potential of the so called reverse innovation. Our study focuses on the automobile industry, and investigates the dynamics of innovation in three MNCs, whose focal subsidiaries are located in Brazil. According to our evidence, the reverse innovation phenomenon is accompanied by a radical transformation of the roles, responsibilities and activities located among the parent company and its subsidiaries. What clearly emerges is the fact that innovation flows are less and less parent-to-subsidiary. The subsidiary-to-parent flow of innovation is increasing, and a subsidiary-to-subsidiary stream is emerging. This phenomenon is redefining the relevance of the parent company in managing the innovation processes within an MNC.

Keywords: technological innovation process; multinational corporations; automotive MNCs; automotive subsidiaries; parent-subsidiary relationship; subsidiary-to-parent flow; subsidiary-to-subsidiary flow; FIAT SpA; Pirelli Tyre; Gustav Wahler Gmbh; automobile industry; international subsidiaries; reverse innovation; Brazil; innovation flows; innovation management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2014.058367

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2014 Vol.14 No.1, pp.82 - 98

Available online: 18 Dec 2013 *

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