Scandinavian Working Papers in Business Administration

Working Papers,
Copenhagen Business School, Department of International Economics and Management

No 14-2001: MNC Knowledge Transfer, Subsidiary Absorptive Capacity and HRM

Dana Minbaeva , Torben Pedersen , Ingmar Bjoerkman , Carl F. Fey and H.J. Park
Additional contact information
Dana Minbaeva: Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60, 2nd floor , DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
Torben Pedersen: Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60, 2nd floor , DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
Ingmar Bjoerkman: Swedish School of Economics and INSEAD
Carl F. Fey: Stockholm School of Economics
H.J. Park: Cornell University

Abstract: Based on a sample of 169 subsidiaries of MNCs operating in USA, Russia, and China, this paper investigates the relationship between MNC subsidiary HRM practices, absorptive capacity and knowledge transfer. The paper makes two key contributions. First, the paper examines the relationship between the application of specific HRM practices and the level of the absorptive capacity. Second, the paper suggests that absorptive capacity should be conceptualized as being comprised of two dimensions—ability and motivation. Further, results indicate that the interaction of ability and motivation (absorptive capacity) significantly facilitate transfer of knowledge from other parts of the MNC.

Keywords: Multinational corporations; USA; Russia; China; Knowledge transfer; HRM practices

34 pages, December 5, 2001

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