Management of the Multinational Corporation

Our research on managing the multinational corporation has developed from studies of the internationalisation process of the firm and from insights made through “the business as network approach” at Uppsala University. The aim is to continue developing our traditional research areas whilst recognising the emerging shifts of the global economy, which has led to a number of new projects.


Chinese MNCs’ subsidiary management

State-Owned Multinational Corporations (SMNCs), especially those from emerging markets, have become important outward investors with implications for both home and host economies. However, research is still limited and international business theories about MNCs have not considered the state-ownership aspect in their conceptualization. In this project, we intend first to study the influence of political embeddedness (PE) of SMNCs on their international strategy and market-entry decision-making, second to explore the consequence of PE on the local strategy and evolution of subsidiaries in SMNCs, and third to investigate the potential effects of SMNCs’ (politically influenced) activities on their competition in the host markets.

Project leader: Francesco Ciabuschi
Project members: Cong Su 
Duration: 2021- ongoing

Competition and cooperation within multinational corporations

This project focuses on the interplay of competition and cooperation within MNCs. Units/subsidiaries are often expected to collaborate at the same time as the governing of the units rests on competition for limited resources, attention and position. This duality is a major challenge for MNCs that seek to manage their intra-organizational knowledge flows, internalize globally coordinated operations as well as differentiate various units’ roles. How this duality influences the subsidiaries needs to be further researched.

Project leader: Cecilia Pahlberg
Project members: Katarina Lagerström, Roger Schweizer and Emilene Leite
Duration: 2018-ongoing

Headquarters knowledge and the generation of value in multinational companies

This project focuses on headquarters knowledge and how it relates to the possibilities of contributing to value generation in multinational companies. Research indicates that headquarters intervention in subsidiary activities may negatively affect for example innovation performance. We argue that headquarters ability to generate value for its subsidiaries is contingent on its learning processes and knowledge about internal and external relationships. However, research has paid limited attention to these problems. We do not know a lot about how headquarters generate knowledge that provides the foundation for its actions. Also, we know little about knowledge contingencies required for potentially generating value. Moreover, there is a dearth of research and a paucity of knowledge related to what is construed as valuable from the perspective of different actors. Consequently, the focus of the project is on (a) headquarters knowledge sources, (b) headquarters interventions in subsidiary activities with the intention of adding value, (c) perceptions of headquarters value added, and (d) performance implications of headquarters value added attempts for subsidiaries and the multinational corporation.

Project leader: Henrik Dellestrand
Project members: Olof Lindahl, Amalia Nilsson, Francesco Ciabuschi, Ulf Holm and Mats Forsgren
Duration: 2015-ongoing
Financed by: Handelsbanken’s forskningsstiftelser

The frustration of subsidiary managers: communicating business opportunities from the periphery to headquarters of multinational corporations (Part two)

Given that innovation and development are key to the competitive advantage of multinational companies, a good and effective communication about business opportunities is a condition for success. We study how opportunities for new business development discovered in foreign units of multinational companies are communicated and adopted within the multinational organization. Following up our previous case study we conduct cross-sectional studies on the communication between subsidiary managers and headquarters in order to develop and test concepts and variables that play a role.

Project leader: Desirée Blankenburg Holm
Project members: Desirée Blankenburg Holm, Rian Drogendijk and Hammad ul Haq
Duration: 2016-ongoing

Understanding the heterogenous outcomes of the Covid-19 Pandemic: A multi-level investigation

The project studies Swedish companies' restructuring of operations between countries during the global Covid19 crisis. Countries have introduced different degrees/types of restrictions that affect economies differently, which affects how individual companies redistribute resources between countries. We identify differences, constraints, and economic factors at the country, industry, and firm levels that explain why some companies survive and expand while others need to redistribute operations or exit markets. This is followed by an analysis of the impact on company performance and business volume. We contribute to understanding companies' sensitivity to global economic shocks and how they act in global crises.

Project leader: Ulf Holm, Emre Yildiz
Project members: Mikael Eriksson, Sergey Morgulis-Yakoshev.
Duration: 2018-ongoing
Financed by: Handelsbanken’s Research Foundations

Last modified: 2023-09-18