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The impact of external, internal, and dual relational embeddedness on the innovation performance of foreign subsidiaries: Evidence from a developing country

Nadia Albis, Isabel Alvarez () and Aura García

Journal of International Management, 2021, vol. 27, issue 4

Abstract: As parts of a global network, foreign-owned subsidiaries enjoy privileged access to knowledge sources both internal (within their multinational group) and external (involving other organizations in the host location), and this has proven especially relevant in their assumption of greater creative responsibilities that increase the technological capabilities of their multinational group. This study investigates whether external and internal relational embeddedness are mutually reinforcing (complementary) or whether they act separately in explaining superior innovation performance of foreign-owned subsidiaries in terms of a greater propensity to obtain radical innovations. The empirical analysis uses both direct and indirect tests to evaluate the complementarity, as well as a rich firm-level panel data on foreign subsidiaries, extracted from a census of Colombian manufacturing firms for the period 2008–2014. Our findings reveal that external relational embeddedness in isolation (without internal embeddedness) has a positive impact on performance only in terms of incremental innovation, while internal embeddedness alone (without external embeddedness) has no effect on the innovation performance of subsidiaries. However, we find that a complementary and dynamic relationship exists between external and internal linkages to spur radical innovation outcomes, which in turn are related to the competence-creating roles in foreign subsidiaries as prior literature has shown.

Keywords: Foreign subsidiaries; Innovation; Embeddedness; Networking; Multinationals (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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DOI: 10.1016/j.intman.2021.100854

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