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Global, national and local practices in multinational corporations: Towards a socio-political framework

Geppert, M and Williams, K (2006) Global, national and local practices in multinational corporations: Towards a socio-political framework International Journal of Human Resource Management, 17 (1). pp. 49-69.

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This paper intends to shed some light on strategies and power resources of subsidiary managers and employee representatives involved in ‘charter changes’ and the implementation of ‘best practices’ developed elsewhere. Research shows that local managers face a dilemma in that they need both internal legitimacy (within the MNC itself) and external legitimacy (within the local context). It is argued that the power resources key actors draw on in the (internal) decision-making processes of ‘charter changes’ are intertwined with certain (external) national business system (NBS) characteristics, an aspect often neglected in North American research about MNCs. The authors identify three key influences, which restrain or empower local management and employees in their ability to make strategic choices and gain power within the MNC. They are (1) the overall strategic approach of the multinational group, (2) the strategic position and the economic performance of the subsidiary itself and (3) the degree of institutional embeddedness of the subsidiary in the host country. Comparative mini-case studies are used to illustrate the effect of local management and employee representatives' empowerment on their ability to retain skills and work practices supportive of a diversified quality production process in the face of MNC pressure to adopt global ‘best practices’ based on more standardized production processes.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Geppert, M
Williams, K
Date : 2006
DOI : 10.1080/09585190500366243
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Human Resource Management , 17(1), 49-69(2006). International Journal of Human Resource Management is available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2012 12:09
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:36

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