This paper examines the role of multinational companies, their subsidiaries and the complex interdependent relationship between the two. We discuss subsidiary role development and specific strategic initiatives that can be used to add new value to the corporation. Previous studies have identified the need for more proactive management practices in this domain as shrewd strategies can be a key differential for advancement. However, there are few practical guides available to managers to help them improve their performance. This paper addresses this deficit and expands the discussion on subsidiary role development practices in terms of selection and evaluation. We present an explanatory framework which comprises an integrated suite of strategic options derived from the extant literature. From this analysis, an instrument that allows decision makers to assess their company against best practice was developed and tested. Findings from our study reveal that the instrument or audit tool is an accurate, reliable and valid mechanism to measure a subsidiary's role development strategies. Our research contributes to an advancement of the debate in subsidiary role development. Furthermore, the development of a practical and innovative tool for managers bridges the gap from theory to practice.