Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Stendahl, E.; Schriber, S.; Tippmann, E.
Journal Of International Business Studies
Control Changes in Multinational Corporations: Adjusting Control Approaches in Practice
Optional Fields
MNC/MNE, control, change, flexibility, case study, headquarters- subsidiary relations
The issue of control in multinational corporations (MNCs) is central to international business scholarship. However, prior literature tends to provide a static perspective offering few theoretical insights on control changes, especially the practices that enable control adjustments. Adopting a practice theory perspective, we consider control as “in the making” whereby adjustments emerge through a social accomplishment, constituted and reconstituted as headquarters and subsidiaries engage in a co-creating process. Using a longitudinal case study approach, we had the rare opportunity to track and compare an unsuccessful and a successful attempt to adjust control in an MNC over time. Our main theoretical contribution is a model of adjusting control in MNCs that details the practices that enable control changes. This model offers theoretical implications for organizational control theory in MNCs, especially in relation to theorizing the subsidiary contribution in the design of control, reconciliation of raised tensions in headquarterssubsidiary relationships and nature of unintended consequences in the adjustment process. Our study also contributes to theories on MNC change as it details the construction of an ongoing strategy-structure alignment for strategic flexibility.
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