The influence of national business systems and company characteristics on the cross-national transfer of employee participation practices : foreign acquisitions of UK and Swedish multinational corporations
Andersen, Morten Damgaard (2006) The influence of national business systems and company characteristics on the cross-national transfer of employee participation practices : foreign acquisitions of UK and Swedish multinational corporations. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2157876~S15
The importance of multinational corporations (MNCs) on a global scale has
continued to increase over the past decades. This is evidenced in rapidly rising levels of
foreign direct investment (FDI) coupled with high amount of mergers and acquisitions
(M&A) activity. MNCs are likely to have a significant impact on their surroundings,
including national governments, suppliers, customers, trade unions and employees. This
research focuses on the impact on the latter by investigating post-acquisition transfers of
employee participation practices in MNCs. This thesis examines Swedish and UK
MNCs and their foreign acquired subsidiaries.
Following a review of comparative industrial relations, institutionalism,
international business, national business systems (NBS), and M&A literature, the
influence of NBS and nine specific company characteristics on MNCs' ability and
willingness to transfer employment practices are discussed. The contribution to
knowledge is fivefold. Firstly, it extends the understanding of employment practices
transfers following cross-border acquisitions. Secondly, it contributes to the global-local
debate of how MNCs try to implement global standard employment practices on the one
hand and on the other to adapt and conform to local conditions. Thirdly, it provides an
insight into MNCs from small and large economies engaging in transfers. Fourthly, it
compares acquisition integration approaches from Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian
MNCs. Fifthly, it informs about the forces at national and company levels influencing
MNCs in their choice of employment practices abroad.
Empirically, the research is based on detailed case studies. Case data has been
collected from five MNCs - two UK and three Swedish - and their foreign acquired subsidiaries. Interviews have been carried out at corporate and subsidiary levels in the
UK and Sweden in the native languages.
The research draws some significant conclusions. Firstly, the influence of the
NBS on the transfer of employment practices varies according to the type of practice in
question. Secondly, it adds another dimension to Bartlett and Ghoshal's (1998) MNC
typologies, the brand structured MNC. In this type of MNC, practices are transferred
according to brands rather than national patterns. Thirdly, the pattern of transfer
supports the argument of a flow of transfers from 'dominant' systems to 'follower'
systems both in terms of forward and reverse transfers. Finally, the results reveal that
transfers are not only influenced by the NBS but also company characteristics are
significant. This is most clearly demonstrated by the post-acquisition integration
approach and the 'significance' of the subsidiary.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||International business enterprises -- Personnel management, International business enterprises -- Great Britain -- Case studies, International business enterprises -- Sweden -- Case studies|
|Official Date:||September 2006|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Warwick Business School|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Angwin, Duncan ; Marginson, Paul|
|Sponsors:||Collinson Grant (Firm) ; Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Extent:||xiii, 335 leaves|
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