Superstar Subsidiaries of the Multinational Corporation: In Search of Origins and Drivers<sup>1</sup>

Katarina Blomkvist, Philip Kappen and Ivo Zander

in Innovation and Growth

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646685
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748998 | DOI:
Superstar Subsidiaries of the Multinational Corporation: In Search of Origins and Drivers1

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The primary ambition of this chapter is to identify the origin and drivers of superstar foreign subsidiaries, that is those very few subsidiaries that come to account for consistent and highly significant technological contributions to the multinational group. It illustrates the evolution of two foreign subsidiaries of two Swedish multinationals — the German subsidiary of ball bearing manufacturer SKF and the U.S. subsidiary of agricultural equipment producer Alfa Laval — and is a first attempt to come to grips with the phenomenon. A longitudinal investigation into their technological, business, and organizational development suggests that a number of factors need to coincide for a foreign subsidiary to develop superstar status, and that missing out on any of these individual factors will significantly hamper its ability to break out of the frame of the average foreign subsidiary. The concluding sections contain a preliminary model which outlines the interrelated drivers of superstar subsidiaries, reflections about strategic and policy implications, and a more speculative note on what the observations might tell about the fundamental nature of the MNC.

Keywords: mncs; advanced foreign subsidiaries; evolution

Chapter.  13105 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Financial Markets

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