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Title: Plans, procedures and bumble-bees : an international study of control mechanism in the multinational companies
Author: Harzing, Anne-Wil
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 5030
Awarding Body: The University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis investigates control mechanisms in multinational companies (MNCs). It first explores the composition of the control portfolio that MNC headquarters use towards their subsidiaries. In this context, special attention is paid to the role of international transfer of managers in controlling MNC subsidiaries. Because of the breadth of the study and the number of variables included, configuration analysis is subsequently used to reduce the study's complexity. Finally, the study's independent variables are used to explain differences in performance between MNCs. A large-scale international mail survey was carried out to gather the data. This mail survey resulted in responses from 287 subsidiaries in 22 different countries and 8 different industries. These subsidiaries represented 104 different MNCs, headquartered in nine different countries. In addition, data were gathered from 26 CEOs and 25 Corporate HRM-managers at :MNC headquarters. Before subjecting them to any further analysis, data were explicitly tested for cross-cultural equivalence. Differences in the composition of the control portfolio applied by headquarters towards their subsidiaries could be explained by a number of characteristics at both headquarters and subsidiary level. Expatriates were shown to form both a direct and an indirect means of control. An empirical test of the configurations constructed in the theoretical part, showed that the firms in our sample could be described as approaching one of the following three ideal type of configurations: global, multidomestic or transnational. Concerning performance, the highest explanatory power could be attributed to the country-of-origin of headquarters and the industry in which the MNC operated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available