The relevance of subsidiary initiatives for Brazilian multinationals

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2009-09-01
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The purpose of this paper is to analyze relationship patterns between headquarters and subsidiaries of Brazilian Multinationals Enterprises (BrMNEs). The key construct for that investigation is Subsidiary Initiative, which comprises Subsidiary Entrepreneurial Orientation, Autonomy, Integration, Local Competitive Context and Business Network. A survey was carried out in a sample of 65 subsidiaries of 29 BrMNEs. The main outcome is that subsidiaries are highly integrated and receive Entrepreneurial Orientation from Headquarters (HQs), but Initiative is limited. Actually, the main determinants of subsidiary's initiatives are Local Context and Business Networking in the host country. This apparent paradox may be explained by what we call 'rebellious subsidiaries', which take initiatives based on their business environment and connections, regardless of their HQs' directions or delegation of autonomy.


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