A Question of Legitimacy? : A Dynamic Perspective on Multinational Firm Control

Item Type Journal paper

The control and coordination of a network of geographically and culturally dispersed subsidiaries is one of the most prominent challenges in international management. However, many empirical findings on the effectiveness of various control mechanisms and combinations thereof are still counterintuitive. This study uses longitudinal case studies and cross-sectional interview data to extend control theory by examining why, how, and in what sequence large multinational firms (MNCs) implement controls in their networks of foreign subsidiaries. Our analysis draws from literature on institutional theory, embeddedness, and organizational power to demonstrate that MNC headquarters need to overcome institutional duality when implementing their controls abroad. We find that headquarters do so by using social controls, primarily as a way of legitimizing and institutionalizing their process and output controls that are implemented subsequently.

Authors Brenner, Barbara & Ambos, Björn
Journal or Publication Title Organization Science
Language English
Keywords control dynamics, legitimacy, multinational firms, international strategy, longitudinal study
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date June 2013
Publisher INFORMS
Place of Publication Hanover
Volume 24
Number 3
Page Range 773-795
Number of Pages 23
ISSN 1047-7039
ISSN-Digital 1526-5455
Publisher DOI 10.1287/orsc.1120.0760
Depositing User Anja Schuster
Date Deposited 21 Nov 2012 21:37
Last Modified 23 Aug 2016 11:15
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/218056


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Brenner, Barbara & Ambos, Björn (2013) A Question of Legitimacy? : A Dynamic Perspective on Multinational Firm Control. Organization Science, 24 (3). 773-795. ISSN 1047-7039


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