Problem solving in MNCs: How local and global solutions are (and are not) created

Title: Problem solving in MNCs: How local and global solutions are (and are not) created
Authors: Tippmann, Esther
Sharkey Scott, Pamela
Mangematin, Vincent
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Date: Oct-2012
Online since: 2016-09-01T12:30:12Z
Abstract: It is widely acknowledged in the international business literature that subsidiaries can make a strategic contribution to multinational corporations (MNCs). Departing from the common focus on subsidiary role, contexts and organizational MNC factors, this study explores the micro-level details of managers' actions and interactions. We conducted an in-depth qualitative study into 38 problem-solving processes employed across four subsidiaries. Taking a non-routine problem-solving perspective on how subsidiaries contribute strategically to renewing MNC competences, this paper uncovers four problem-solving approaches: local template adaptation; superior technology creation; local template creation; and global principle creation. The findings depict how the way problems are framed influences knowledge search and solution-finding activities, and how these different activities may result in local and global solutions. The paper extends insights into MNC innovation and subsidiary initiative by detailing how subsidiary managers navigate different problem-solving approaches, and contributes to discussions on the micro-foundations and social aspects of MNC knowledge flows, revealing factors that trigger distance-spanning knowledge search.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Journal: Journal of International Business Studies
Volume: 43
Issue: 8
Start page: 746
End page: 771
Copyright (published version): 2012 Academy of International Business
Keywords: Multinational corporations (MNCs) and enterprises (MNEs)Organizational learningKnowledge-seeking behaviorKnowledge transfer and innovation in MNCs/ MNEsGlobal learningCase-theoretic approaches
DOI: 10.1057/jibs.2012.25
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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