Exploring the paradox of competence‐creating subsidiaries : balancing bandwidth and dispersion in MNEs

R. Narula

Research output: Working paperProfessional

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Abstract

This paper seeks to synthesise the various contributions to the special issue of
Long Range Planning on competence-creating subsidiaries (CCS), and identifies avenues for future research. Effective competence-creation through a network of subsidiaries requires an appropriate balance between internal and external embeddedness. There are multiple types of firm-specific advantages (FSAs) essential to achieve this. In addition, wide-bandwidth pathways are needed with collaborators, suppliers, customers as well as internally within the MNE. Paradoxically, there is a natural tendency for bandwidth to shrink as dispersion
increases. As distances (technological, organisational, and physical) become greater, there may be decreasing returns to MNE spread. Greater resources for knowledge integration and coordination are needed as intra- and inter-firm R&D cooperation becomes more intensive and extensive. MNEs need to invest in mechanisms to promote wide-bandwidth knowledge flows, without which widely dispersed and networked MNEs can suffer from internal market failures.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherMaastricht University
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers
Number046

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