Understanding subsidiary leaders' behaviour when responding to headquarters’ expectations: Identity, scripts, and impression management perspectives

Mireles Negrete, Deborah
It is acknowledged that subsidiary leaders play an important part in the overall success of the subsidiary and the organisation as a whole, yet, little is known about the micro-level mechanisms that enable this success. This thesis aims to understand subsidiary leaders’ behaviour to have more clarity on different subsidiary-level outcomes. This is approached by examining their micro-level practices, activities, and interactions. Specifically, the following research issues are investigated: • The subsidiary leaders’ micro-level practices for managing the identity dynamics in the MNC. • The subsidiary leaders’ micro-level strategic activities to interpret headquarters expectations in response to strategic issues. • The subsidiary leaders’ micro-level interactions to managing the headquarters’ impressions of their subsidiaries. To investigate the micro-level mechanisms of subsidiary leaders, 30 interviews were undertaken with subsidiary leaders with high positions across five successful subsidiaries of MNCs, especially detailing information on their activities, practices, and interactions. Contextual data from archival sources supported these interviews. An in-depth qualitative analysis was executed. This thesis contributes to subsidiary management theory and the subsidiary leadership agenda by offering arguments and findings on what subsidiary leaders do, how they do it, and why they do it. Borrowing the identity, scripts, and impression management theories from other fields and framing the three research questions around these theories, this study challenges the underlying rationales supporting accepted theories in the subsidiary management field. Ultimately, the findings of this thesis demonstrate the importance and value of the subsidiary leaders in the organisation and motivate future research to continue focusing on the subsidiary leaders and their micro-level mechanisms to understand subsidiary-level outcomes
NUI Galway
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland