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EDUCATION (1347 journals)

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Journal Cover Organization Studies
  [SJR: 4.047]   [H-I: 102]   [42 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0170-8406 - ISSN (Online) 1741-3044
   Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [852 journals]
  • Politics and Power in Multinational Companies: Integrating the
           International Business and Organization Studies Perspectives
    • Authors: Geppert, M; Becker-Ritterspach, F, Mudambi, R.
      Pages: 1209 - 1225
      Abstract: The study of power and politics in multinational companies (MNCs) has been a niche area of study for both scholars of organization studies (OS) and international business (IB). Further, the awareness of each research community with regard to the efforts of the other has been rather superficial. Hence, bridge-building efforts to cross-fertilize ideas developed in IB and OS in order to enhance our understanding of the nature and role of politics and power in the MNC are overdue. In order to develop the basis for integration, we trace the conceptual developments in the two disciplines, that enables us to highlight particularly promising opportunities for integrative advances. Using a typology which differentiates among four ‘faces’ of power in the study of management and organization, we discuss how focusing on each of these four dimensions may help us to both see and make sense of different aspects of power relations and facets of politics in MNCs. We then use the ‘four faces’ framework to outline how OS and IB approaches can be integrated to develop a more complete understanding of politics and power in MNCs. Finally we suggest some directions for future research.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19T03:03:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0170840616656152
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 9 (2016)
  • The Network Firm as a Political Coalition
    • Authors: Whitford, J; Zirpoli, F.
      Pages: 1227 - 1248
      Abstract: The article uses a qualitative case study of fifteen years in the production network that revolves about Fiat Auto to depict the "network firm" as a political coalition. The analysis touches on Fiat’s radical outsourcing of production in the 1990s, a short-lived and ill-fated alliance with General Motors in 2001, a descent to the brink of bankruptcy in 2004, a return to profitability by 2007, and, finally, the acquisition of control of Chrysler in 2009. The article reconstructs James March’s classic Carnegie model of the firm in light of the blurring of organizational boundaries. By marrying that model with ideas drawn from the literatures on organizational networks, social movements, and organizational politics, the article demonstrates that strategic decision-making at Fiat and at key suppliers shaped, and was shaped by, an interplay of frames and relational embedding within and across organizational boundaries. This shows how coalitional politics shape and are shaped by the shifting boundaries of the firm, and how those politics affect the evolution of the production networks that prevail across many contemporary industries.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19T03:03:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0170840616634131
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 9 (2016)
  • Subsidiary Initiative Taking in Multinational Corporations: The
           Relationship between Power and Issue Selling
    • Pages: 1249 - 1270
      Abstract: This paper investigates the political maneuvering that accompanies subsidiary initiative taking in multinational corporations. On the basis of an explorative empirical investigation of subsidiary initiative taking in the French subsidiaries of six German MNCs, the paper explores the activities that subsidiaries undertake to sell their initiatives, and the relationships among issue selling, subsidiary power and headquarters’ hierarchical power. The findings suggest that the use of issue-selling tactics is common when subsidiaries engage in initiative taking. In addition, the paper demonstrates that a low degree of issue selling is needed to obtain approval of an initiative in less asymmetrical headquarters–subsidiary power relationships (i.e. relationships in which subsidiaries are relatively powerful). In cases where power relationships are highly asymmetrical, issue selling is a necessity, but it is hardly a sufficient condition for obtaining headquarters’ approval. This renders issue selling to a second-rank power in subsidiary initiative taking, as it only works in conjunction with subsidiary power.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19T03:03:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0170840616634130
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 9 (2016)
  • Conflictual Practice Sharing in the MNC: A Theory of Practice Approach
    • Authors: Bjerregaard, T; Klitmoller, A.
      Pages: 1271 - 1295
      Abstract: This article advances a theory of practice approach to the study of conflictual practice sharing in the multinational corporation (MNC). The article demonstrates distinct opportunities offered by practice theory in researching the multiple lines of conflict and cooperation over local organizational practices, policies and strategies that emerge in the face of global HQ demands. Extant literature concentrates on how transfer outcomes are shaped by institutional or cultural distance at the national level and inter-unit relationships, often taking the subsidiary as a unit of analysis. Therefore, intra-unit conflicts over global practice sharing are under-researched, particularly how such conflicts are shaped by actors’ differential situatedness in the immediate societal context of the subsidiary. In explicating a practice theory agenda for the study of MNCs, we contribute to an understanding of how actors’ social positioning within and outside the firm, combined with their career opportunities, shape both the character and dynamics of intra-unit conflicts over the local configuration of organizational practices mandated by HQ. Building on an extended case study of an MNC in a Mexican special economic zone (SEZ), we thus examine how subsidiary actors accommodate, actively support and resist various parts of an HQ-mandated management control system.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19T03:03:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0170840616634126
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 9 (2016)
  • Knowledge Assimilation at Foreign Subsidiaries of Japanese MNCs through
           Political Sensegiving and Sensemaking
    • Authors: Hong, J. F. L; Snell, R. S, Mak, C.
      Pages: 1297 - 1321
      Abstract: We analyse political sensegiving and sensemaking by expatriates and host country employees through exportive, contestative and integrative stages of knowledge assimilation at two China-based subsidiaries of different Japanese MNCs. Comparative case study analysis indicated that efforts by expatriates and HQ-based experts to convey, routinize and standardize home country practices during the exportive and contestative stages, while involving traditional ‘one way’ knowledge transfer, can provide a foundation for a subsequent integrative stage, during which host country employees’ locally embedded knowledge is assimilated despite geopolitical asymmetry between home and host countries. Without this foundation, knowledge assimilation can remain ‘frozen’ at the contestative stage, with host country employees resisting importation of good practices from the HQ, and expatriates marginalizing host country employees’ contributions unless these are exceptionally compelling.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19T03:03:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0170840616634128
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 9 (2016)
  • Sensemaking, Sense-Censoring and Strategic Inaction: The Discursive
           Enactment of Power and Politics in a Multinational Corporation
    • Authors: Whittle, A; Mueller, F, Gilchrist, A, Lenney, P.
      Pages: 1323 - 1351
      Abstract: In this paper we contribute to knowledge of power and politics in international business by developing the understanding of the role of discourse and sensemaking in the subsidiary–headquarters relationship. Based on an ethnographic action research study in a British subsidiary of an American multinational corporation, we conduct an ethnomethodologically informed discourse analysis of the accounts, stories and metaphors through which power and politics in the subsidiary–headquarters relationship were created as social facts. We then broaden the analytic frame to trace longitudinally how these facts led the subsidiary managers to hide, dilute or restrict their ‘local sense’ from the headquarters, including their knowledge of the local market and their preferred strategic direction for the firm: a process we term sense-censoring. We reveal how the subsidiary used power and politics as reasoning procedures to decide against pursuing a preferred course of action, despite a strongly held belief to the contrary, due to anticipated reactions or counter-actions, thereby transforming potential strategic action into inaction. Sense-censoring is significant for international business management, we propose, because it impacts upon knowledge flows, innovation diffusion and organizational learning. We conclude by outlining the implications of systems of sense-censoring and strategic inaction for the management of global–local relations in multinational corporations.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19T03:03:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0170840616634127
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 9 (2016)
  • Stereotype-Based Managerial Identity Work in Multinational Corporations
    • Authors: Koveshnikov, A; Vaara, E, Ehrnrooth, M.
      Pages: 1353 - 1379
      Abstract: The paper advances our understanding of managerial identity work in the context of HQ–subsidiary relations. We argue that a key part of this identity work is related to cultural stereotypes. On the basis of an analysis of two Finland-based MNCs operating in Russia, the paper elucidates three forms of stereotype-based identity work with enabling or constraining power implications. The first form, stereotypical talk, refers to identity work whereby managers enact their stereotypical conceptions of ‘the other’ to bolster their self-image and ‘inferiorize’ ‘the other’. The second form, reactive talk, is identity work that emerges as a reaction to stereotypical talk whereby managers aim at renegotiating the proposed social arrangement for their own benefit. Finally, the third form, self-reflexive talk, refers to identity work whereby managers attempt to go beyond the social arrangement produced through stereotypical and reactive talk by distancing themselves in a self-reflexive manner from essentialist cultural conceptions. Overall, the paper offers an initial attempt to elucidate how stereotype-based identity work is used to justify or resist existing power structures and power asymmetries in HQ–subsidiary relations within the MNC.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19T03:03:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0170840616634129
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 9 (2016)
  • Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Professional Service Firms
    • Authors: Rogan; M.
      Pages: 1381 - 1384
      PubDate: 2016-08-19T03:03:07-07:00
      DOI: 10.1177/0170840616654095
      Issue No: Vol. 37, No. 9 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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