PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among taking a prospector local-market focus, managerial ties (business ties and political ties) and performance in the Chinese market.Design/methodology/approachThis study, using a sample of 371 Taiwanese subsidiaries of multinational corporations (MNCs) in China, applies regression analyses to investigate the following questions: does taking a prospector local-market focus negatively impact performance? Do managerial ties (business ties and political ties) positively impact performance? Do these managerial ties positively moderate the effect of the taking a prospector local-market focus on performance?FindingsTaking a prospector local-market focus negatively impacts the performance of MNC subsidiaries. Business ties positively impact the performance of MNC subsidiaries, as do political ties. Finally, the impact of a prospector local-market focus on performance is positively moderated by business ties.Practical implicationsThe Chinese market is still a guanxi exchange business system and political connections usually require significant investment in exchange for advantageous market conditions. Thus, political ties must be carefully considered by MNC subsidiaries when they employ a prospector local-market focus in the Chinese business environment.Originality/valueFirst, this study clarifies the key relationship between the strategic choice of taking a prospector local-market focus and performance of MNC subsidiaries in the Chinese market. Second, it identifies the moderating role of managerial ties (political and business ties) in influencing the relationship between a prospector local-market focus and subsidiary.
Management Decision – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 11, 2019
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