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Sourcing or sharing in MNE networks? National headquarters and foreign subsidiaries as knowledge conduits in SMOPECs

Joanna Scott-Kennel and Iiris Saittakari

International Business Review, 2020, vol. 29, issue 1

Abstract: Multinational enterprises (MNEs) act as important conduits of knowledge in advanced, small open economies (SMOPECs). This paper constructs a typology of asymmetric knowledge patterns by comparing net knowledge flows – or differences in sourcing and sharing – in the dual networks of headquarters of national MNEs and subsidiaries of foreign MNEs. We find both act as internal contributors to the MNE, but subsidiaries are more likely to act as external contributors to local partners or dual receivers of net knowledge flows from both networks, and headquarters as dual contributors to both networks. R&D intensity of the subsidiary and of the country are associated with different knowledge patterns of subsidiaries. Inclusion of asymmetric knowledge sourcing and sharing in internal corporate and external business networks contributes to our understanding of knowledge flow directionality via the focal unit, and the roles of national and foreign MNEs as knowledge conduits in SMOPECs.

Keywords: Knowledge flows; Multinational enterprises; Networks; Headquarters; Subsidiaries; SMOPEC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2019.101622

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