PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine subsidiary positioning within the dynamic business networks in the context of multinational companies (MNCs). The research question of the study is: How does the positioning of a subsidiary emerge through strategic practices in the dynamic business networks of an MNC?Design/methodology/approachThe study relies on the IMP view on strategy with a focus on market positioning activity and the strategy-as-practice approach. Positioning is seen as a question of strategic practices in the interactive spheres of the subsidiaries. In the empirical part of the study, the authors examine the practices of a forest machine industry multinational through longitudinal interview and archival data on three of its sales subsidiaries in Sweden, Russia and the USA.FindingsThe study defines core tensions in subsidiary interactive spheres and the related strategic practices that shape the positioning of the subsidiaries. The study models the practice-based network positioning of MNC subsidiaries as a dynamic play of relationship tensions.Originality/valuePrior research has focused either on the internal organizing of the MNCs or embeddedness of subsidiaries in their local environment. Less attention has been paid to the practices of positioning through which the subsidiaries deal with the inevitable tensions at the intersection of the internal and external networks.
IMP Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 12, 2018
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