Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.22/5007
Título: Knowledge management in multinational companies: the repatriates’ role in the competitive advantage in subsidiaries
Autor: Martins, Dora
Tomé, Eduardo
Palavras-chave: Expatriates
International assignments
Multinational companies
Knowledge acquisition
Knowledge transfer
Data: 2014
Editora: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Resumo: This paper addresses the topic of knowledge management in multinational companies (MNCs). Its purpose is to examine the role of expatriates in knowledge acquisition and transfer within MNCs. Specifically it focuses on knowledge acquisition and transfer from one MNC head office located in Germany to two Portuguese subsidiaries as a basis for competitive advantage in their Portuguese subsidiaries. A qualitative research methodology is used, specifically through an exploratory case study approach, which examines how international assignments are important for the role of expatriates In knowledge acquisition and transfer between foreign head offices and their Portuguese subsidiaries. The data were collected through semi structured interviews to 10 Portuguese repatriates from two Portuguese subsidiaries of one foreign MNC. The findings suggest that the reasons that lead to expatriating employees from Portuguese subsidiaries to foreign head offices are connected to (1) knowledge management strategies to development the subsidiary’s performance; (2) new skills and knowledge acquisition by future team leaders and business/product managers in Portuguese subsidiaries; (3) procuring knowledge, from agents in head office, to be disseminated amongst co-workers in Portuguese subsidiaries; (4) acquiring global management skills, impossible to acquire locally and; (5) developing global projects within MNC. Also our results show that knowledge acquisition and transfer from foreign head office, through subsidiaries’ expatriates, contributes directly to the Portuguese subsidiaries’ innovation, improved performance, competitive advantage and growth in the economic sectors in which they operate. Moreover, evidence reveals that expatriation is seen as a strategy to fulfil some of the main organisational objectives through their expatriates (e.g., create new products and business markets, develop and incorporate new organisational techniques and processes, integrate global teams within multinational corporation with a responsibility on the definition of global objectives). The results obtained suggest that expatriates have a central role in acquiring and transferring strategic knowledge from MNC head office to their subsidiaries located in Portugal. Based on the findings, the paper discusses in detail the main theoretical and managerial implications. Suggestions for further research are also presented. The study’s main limitation is the small size of the sample, but its findings and methodology are quite original and significant.
Peer review: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.22/5007
ISBN: 978‐1‐910309‐34‐6
ISSN: 2048‐8963
Versão do Editor: http://academic-conferences.org/eckm/eckm2014/eckm14-proceedings.htm
Aparece nas colecções:ESEIG - RH - Comunicações em eventos científicos

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