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Journal cover: Management Research Review

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269
Previously published as: Management Research News

Online from: 2010

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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Effective autonomy, organisational relationships and skilled jobs in subsidiaries

Document Information:
Title:Effective autonomy, organisational relationships and skilled jobs in subsidiaries
Author(s):Jens Gammelgaard, (Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark), Frank McDonald, (Bradford Centre in International Business, Bradford University School of Management, Bradford, UK), Heinz Tüselmann, (Centre of International Business and Innovation, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK), Christoph Dörrenbächer, (Faculty of Business and Economics, Berlin School of Economics and Law (Hochschule für Wirtschaft and Recht HWR), Berlin, Germany), Andreas Stephan, (Department of Economics, Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden)
Citation:Jens Gammelgaard, Frank McDonald, Heinz Tüselmann, Christoph Dörrenbächer, Andreas Stephan, (2011) "Effective autonomy, organisational relationships and skilled jobs in subsidiaries", Management Research Review, Vol. 34 Iss: 4, pp.366 - 385
Keywords:Intergroup relations, Organizational culture, Parent companies, Skilled workers, Subsidiaries
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01409171111117834 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how the proportion of skilled jobs in subsidiaries is influenced by resource gaps created by subsidiary development.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper develops a range of propositions that connect the constructs of effective autonomy and organisational relationships with subsidiary employment. Propositions are built on an extensive literature review based on such approaches as the resource-based view, transaction cost economics, network approach, and institutional theory.

Findings – The framework developed in the paper suggests that a higher proportion of employment in skilled jobs in subsidiaries is most likely in cases where subsidiary entrepreneurship, role specialization, and absorptive capacity are higher. Conversely, the proportion is likely to be lower in cases of increased institutional distance from the parent company.

Practical implications – The conceptual model can help parent company managers assess the likely effects of developments in effective autonomy and organisational relationships in their subsidiaries. Subsidiary managers can assess the possible impact of such factors as development of entrepreneurial activities, specialization within the multinational corporation supply chain and enhancement of absorptive capacity on the proportion of skilled jobs.

Originality/value – This paper is the first to describe subsidiary development from a skilled job perspective. It further develops the concept of autonomy and introduces the term “effective autonomy”.

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