Title: Reverse knowledge transfer from subsidiaries to MNCs in Korea: size matters

Authors: Kum-Sik Oh; John R. Anchor; Gap-Yeon Jeong

Addresses: The Business School, University of Huddersfiled, Queensgate, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3DH, UK ' The Business School, University of Huddersfiled, Queensgate, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3DH, UK ' School of Business Administration, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehakro, Bukgu, Daegu 41566, South Korea

Abstract: This paper attempts to identify the effects of knowledge transfer capacity and relational capital on the reverse transfer of local market information from subsidiaries within MNC networks. In particular, we try to examine the different influences of those determinants in organisations of different sizes. By using Spearman rank order correlation coefficients, we find that the key drivers for large subsidiaries are knowledge development capability, subsidiary autonomy and trust between subsidiaries and MNCs. The key drivers for medium-size firms are subsidiary willingness, trust and organisational distance. In the case of small firms, reverse knowledge transfer is driven by knowledge development capability, subsidiary autonomy and socialisation mechanisms. We believe that these findings offer valuable implications for both MNC managers and also for theory.

Keywords: multinational corporations; MNCs; reverse knowledge transfer; RKT; local market information; LMI; knowledge transfer capacity; KTC; relational capital; MNC subsidiaries; South Korea; local markets; knowledge development capability; subsidiary autonomy; trust; subsidiary willingness; organisational distance; socialisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCS.2016.081126

International Journal of Multinational Corporation Strategy, 2016 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.179 - 203

Received: 31 Mar 2016
Accepted: 01 Aug 2016

Published online: 23 Dec 2016 *

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