Session Details: Session 1003

International Knowledge Diffusion

Track G

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Time: 11:15 – 12:30

Common Ground

Room: Salon 7

Ram Mudambi, Temple University

Title: Exploring the Inter-unit MNC Network: Voluntary Choice and Administrative Control


  • Manisha Singal, Virginia Tech
  • Shaohua Mu, Trinity International University

Abstract: While recent research has considered the Multinational corporation (MNC) as a network, little attention has been paid to the factors that determine the configuration of ties among subsidiaries—the building blocks of a MNC network. Our study suggests that ties result both from Headquarters directives and from subsidiary initiative, based on factors like focus of learning, social capital, and institutional distance. Drawing upon tenets of social exchange theory, we seek to conceptually explore inter-subsidiary ties and exchange, and develop a typology of such ties, that can help explain the flow and transfer of knowledge between subsidiary dyads. Our conceptual model, besides providing testable propositions, outlines avenues for future research, and implications for managers.

Title: Knowledge Intensity Effects in Multinational Strategy


  • Torben Juul Andersen, Copenhagen Business School

Abstract: Knowledge intensive environments allow firms to thrive on intangible assets that are less costly and hence economically efficient to transfer for overseas expansion. These conditions will tend to increase multinational adaptability and economic efficiency while being affected by intra-industry heterogeneity in firm intangibles. Accordingly, this study examines the risk and performance outcomes associated with multinationality based on a large cross-sectional sample. In contrast to earlier studies in manufacturing, the preliminary analyses indicate that firms operating in knowledge intensive industries show positive risk management effects of multinationality that are further enhanced by their emphasis on intangible assets.

Title: Knowledge Transfer Efficiency, Competition and the Geographic and Organizational Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises


  • Niron Hashai, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Nicole Adler, Hebrew University

Abstract: This paper develops a game-theoretic, location-allocation mathematical program that predicts the geographic and organizational boundaries of competing multinational enterprises (MNEs). The model evaluates MNEs' pricing decisions as well as their costs of intra-firm and inter-firm knowledge transfer between globally dispersed R&D, production and marketing facilities as well as the cost of knowledge transfer to end customers. Given multiple players in the market, the game analyzes the competition between MNEs on satisfying the consumers' utility and yields the Nash equilibrium which demonstrates, for different scenarios, how many MNEs will be left in the market, the geographic location of R&D, production and marketing activities, which of these activities are performed in house and which are outsourced.

Title: Learning to Globalize: Interorganizational Knowledge Transfer on Venture Capital Globalization


  • David Major, Indiana University
  • R. Scott Livengood, Ohio State University
  • David Waguespack, University of Maryland
  • Anil Gupta, University of Maryland

Abstract: This paper examines the differential impact of interorganizational learning on investment patterns of imitating organizations. Interorganizational learning is divided into the acquisition of declarative and procedural knowledge. We argue that observing the experiences of salient others results in the transfer of declarative knowledge, learning from ties to experienced partners results in the transfer of both declarative and procedural knowledge, and the transfer of procedural knowledge fosters deeper decision commitment and higher quality decisions. Using globalization investment patterns of US venture capital firms, we find the likelihood of an initial foreign investment, the extent of the commitment, and the perceived decision quality depends on the type of knowledge transferred, which suggest that interorganizational knowledge transferred through network ties ultimately leads to superior imitation.

Title: The Knowledge-Power Game in MNCs


  • Lisa Gaerber, Stanford University
  • Björn Ambos, University of St. Gallen

Abstract: In recent writings on the differentiated MNC there is plenty of evidence that the global dispersion of knowledge has gradually shifted the balance of power between headquarters and subsidiaries. However, beyond the growing consensus that knowledge and power constitute two of the major challenges for MNCs today, so far practically no attempts have been undertaken to explain how and under which circumstances knowledge actually leads to increased subsidiary power within the MNC. The "knowledge-controlling" subsidiary and its knowledge supremacy vís-a-vís headquarters and other units has up to now only vaguely hit scholars' attention. In an attempt to redress this situation, this study draws on two theoretical streams, notably resource-dependency and social network theory, to explain how and under which circumstances knowledge leads to power within the MNC.

Title: The Naures of Knowledge and Knowledge-Seeking FDI Mode Choice


  • Qunyong Xie, University of Agder

Abstract: One important research gap in the literature on entry mode choices is the oversimplified treatment of the nature of knowledge. While much has been written on the tacit/explicit dimension of knowledge, few studies have examined the effects of other dimensions of knowledge on FDI mode choices. In order to examine the hypothesized impacts of the nature of knowledge (e.g., individual versus organizational, similar versus complementary) on FDI mode choices, a theoretical model is developed. Compared with previous literature, this research makes several contributions, e.g., we propose the individual/ organizational dimension has direct influences on FDI mode choices, while the similar/complementary dimension has moderating effects.

All Sessions in Track G...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 1503: Explaining Knowledge Flows within the MNC: Organizational vs. Individual-Level Perspectives
Sun: 13:00 – 14:30
Session 1603: Internationalization among Financial Service Firms
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 1703: Exploring the Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1010: Internationalization Strategy
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1002: Competing in a Global Economy
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1000: Knowledge Flows in MNCs
Session 1005: Emerging Markets
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1003: International Knowledge Diffusion
Session 1110: Social Issues in International Business
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1001: MNC Structure
Session 1009: Under Assault: How Companies Can Fight Organized Crime
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1004: Foreign Entry Modes
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1008: The Impact of Climate Change: Lessons from the Field
Session 1084: Internationalization of Research and Development (R&D)

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference