University of Oulu

Sari Laari-Salmela, Tuija Mainela, Elina Pernu, Vesa Puhakka, (2018) "Strategic practices of subsidiary positioning in business networks", IMP Journal, Vol. 12 Issue: 1, pp.37-55,

Strategic practices of subsidiary positioning in business networks

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Author: Laari-Salmela, Sari1; Mainela, Tuija1; Pernu, Elina1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu Business School Oulu Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-01-29


Purpose: The present study examines 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/approach: The 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, we 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.

Findings: The 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/value: Prior 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.

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Series: IMP journal
ISSN: 2059-1403
ISSN-E: 0809-7259
ISSN-L: 2059-1403
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Pages: 37 - 55
DOI: 10.1108/IMP-03-2017-0008
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © Emerald Publishing Limited 2018.