Divinity rules: towards a revised typology of multinational corporate parenting styles
by Igor Gurkov; Michael J. Morley
European J. of International Management (EJIM), Vol. 11, No. 4, 2017

Abstract: We advance a revised and extended typology of multinational corporate parenting styles designed to capture different approaches identifiable in multinational headquarter - subsidiary interactions. Invoking ancient Greek mythology, we propose a four-way classification of the observed dominant styles. Multinational corporations pursuing a Cronus parenting style emphasise exploitation and demonstrate a proclivity for continuously extracting value from their subsidiary units. Multinationals following a Rhea parenting style focus on adding value to their subsidiaries and place a strong emphasis on care and accommodation in parent-subsidiary interactions. Zeus style multinational parents encourage heroism among their offspring, something that is commonly leveraged through adding financial value to the subsidiary and extracting a range of other types of value in return. Those multinational parents pursuing an Athena parenting style place an emphasis on developing and safeguarding wisdom in their subsidiaries and display a continuous desire for a balanced exchange of value in their on-going interactions.

Online publication date: Mon, 31-Jul-2017

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