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Implementer or Global Innovator: Factors that influence subsidiary innovation within a Multi-National Corporation

Malone, Derek (2018) Implementer or Global Innovator: Factors that influence subsidiary innovation within a Multi-National Corporation. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Subsidiaries of Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) exist to deliver a mandate as assigned by the parent company upon their inception. The scope of this mandate varies according to the strategic planning of the parent company and the ambition of the subsidiary unit itself. There is considerable evidence to support the idea that for a MNC to develop and grow that they must harness the innovative ability of the subsidiary network. Additionally there is significant evidence to suggest that a subsidiary that does not seek to innovate and develop their mandate will ultimately contract to the point of non-relevance and non-existence. These factors place a responsibility on both the parent company and the subsidiary to seek to innovate in order to develop the global MNC business.

What are the factors that affect a subsidiaries ability to innovate effectively? How are these innovations transferred and adopted by the global MNC. This paper seeks to identify the most important factors and to some extent categorise their relevance with regard to successful subsidiary innovation. This study looks at the six most documented elements that affect subsidiary innovation. These elements are presented in a conceptual model for the purpose of testing their relevance, whilst also looking for other factors which may affect subsidiary innovation. This research case study interviewed senior management in subsidiaries of a MNC with a view to discovering their views on the elements of the proposed conceptual model.

The research finds that there is considerable weight given to innovative practices across the multi-national corporation, in particular subsidiary management value and promote innovation within their business units. However, there is considerable gaps in the formal process of encouraging innovation and how innovative practices are transferred to the global MNC. Furthermore, it is identified that innovation is directly related to the mandate as assigned by the parent company. Thereby leading to a significant finding, that innovation at subsidiary level is largely driven by the actions of the parent company. Innovation can be mandated, and in situations where it is, it flourishes. Conversely, where a basic mandate is prescribed by the parent company, innovation at subsidiary level is sporadic, inconsistent and unreliable.

Many gaps in the current literature are exposed in the area of the study of subsidiary innovation, which led to the many recommendations for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory > Entrepreneurship
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Multinational Industries
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2018 12:27
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2018 12:27

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