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Determinants of initiative survival in multinational companies

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abstract This paper examines why subsidiary initiatives differ with respect to their probability of survival and identifies initiative-related factors which cause this difference. We thus intends to answer the research question: What determines the probability of survival of an initiative sent by a foreign R&D subsidiary? We develop six hypotheses which describe initiative characteristics upon which the survival or failure of a subsidiary initiative may depend. We then test these hypotheses using a sample of 1,116 subsidiary initiatives we collected from the global R&D organisation of a Swiss MNC.
We extracted these initiative data directly from the firm's initiative database. This research setting allowed us to collect unprecedented data on subsidiary initiatives. The findings show that initiative survival is positively influenced by social and geographical closeness of the sending R&D subsidiary to headquarters, by the initiative's alignment with the firm's core areas of activity, and by the manager's past success record, i.e. the number of already recognised initiatives sent by that manager. Moreover, initiatives that propose exploitative innovation are more likely to survive than initiatives that propose exploratory innovation. However, inter-subsidiary collaboration is found to have no significant influence on initiative survival.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords Intraorganisational ecology, strategic initiative, subsidiary initiative, R&D, MNC
   
project Subsidiary Initiatives in International Research and Development: A Survival Analysis
name of conference Academy of International Business (AIB) (Milan)
date of conference 30-6-2008
title of proceedings Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business
page(s) 183 (Abstract)
publisher Academy of International Business (East Lansing, USA)
review double-blind review
   
citation Keupp, M. M., & Gassmann, O. (2008). Determinants of initiative survival in multinational companies. In Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business, pp.183 (Abstract). East Lansing, USA: Academy of International Business.