The interplay of headquarters and subsidiary, the inherent balancing act of unified global processes and local practicability have been the subject of intense research over the last years. The partly implicit question underlying most of these studies is: how do organizations actually manage and learn to become truly global? This study contributes to shed light on this question through a case study analysis of the strategic change effort conducted within a German IT outsourcing company. In the course of three years, the company set up a complex transformation program comprised of several sub projects, with the goal of changing the business unit into a global organization. The result of this effort is measured by the degree of inter-subsidiary collaboration in operations and ongoing knowledge exchange. This paper shadows the different projects over the change period and assesses their outcome and contribution to the transformation effort at different points in time. The analysis shows that projects can be grouped into categories based on their beneficiary (i.e. headquarters or the country subsidiary). As projects evolve over time, their impact unfolds for the countries, shaping the country’s perception of its benefit from the internationalization process. Based on the analysis a preliminary model and hypothesis are developed which should be tested in future research.
|Keywords:||Global Change Initiative, HQ-Subsidiary Relationship, Impact of Change|
RSM Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Lecturer, Centre for Strategic Management, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK
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