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American Multinationals in EuropeManaging Employment Relations Across National Borders$
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Phil Almond and Anthony Ferner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274635

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274635.001.0001

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Innovation and the Transfer of Organizational Learning

Innovation and the Transfer of Organizational Learning

Chapter:
(p.223) 11 Innovation and the Transfer of Organizational Learning
Source:
American Multinationals in Europe
Author(s):

Tony Edwards

David G. Collings

Javier Quintanilla

Anne Tempel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274635.003.0011

It is commonly argued that a key factor shaping the competitive position of multinationals is their capability to identify innovations made within the firm, and subsequently transfer these across their operations. This chapter examines the process of innovation and the transfer of innovations in US multinationals. It focuses on the ways in which innovative employment practices are identified in one part of a firm’s operations, and then transferred to sites in different countries. In doing so, it examines the contribution of different perspectives on organizational learning, contrasting the information-processing, contingency, national business system, and micro-political approaches. The evidence concerning the transfer of practices from the domestic operations of American multinationals to their foreign subsidiaries is reviewed, drawing on the findings of earlier chapters. The extent to which the case study firms transfer across borders practices that originated in their overseas operations is considered.

Keywords:   US multinationals, organizational learning, knowledge transfer, innovation, national business systems, micro-political approach

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