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Interunit communication within MNCs: the influence of formal structure versus integrative processes

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Reflecting a similar debate in organization theory, researchers studying multinational corporations (MNCs) disagree on the relative influence of formal structural mechanisms, such as centralisation, versus that of ad hoc integration processes, such as meetings, taskforces, and teamwork, in facilitating interunit communication in MNCs. Based on data collected from 164 managers working in 14 different national subsidiaries within the Consumer Electronics Division of Matsushita, a Japanese company, and 84 managers working in 9 different national subsidiaries within the same business of N.V. Philips, the Holland-based competitor of Matsushita, this study reveals that while formal structure has no discernible influence on interunit communication, the ad hoc lateral integration processes have significant positive effects on the frequency of both headquarters-subsidiary and inter-subsidiary communication in both companies

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/Inseadwp1991/91-21.pdf

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