Knowledge Here, Knowledge There: Multilatinas and their European Subsidiaries

This study focuses on ‘multilatinas’, a group of emerging multinationals headquartered in Latin American countries, and analyses the flows of knowledge between multilatinas’ European subsidiaries and their headquarters. The research tracts both the occurrence of conventional flows of knowledge from headquarters to their European subsidiaries, as well those flows going in the reverse direction. The paper’s main findings can be summarised as follows. First, multilatinas presence in Europe is the result of the combination of market and strategic-asset seeking drivers;
with Europe being both an important market for multilatinas, as well as a key location for their R&D activities. Second, multilatinas’ European subsidiaries exchange knowledge with their headquarters in Latin America, implying the concurrency of both conventional and reverse knowledge flows. Third, multilatinas are not only tapping into European knowledge base (strategic-asset seeking), they are also bringing knowledge into their European operations, suggesting the occurrence of spillovers into the host environments. Forth, intra-firm trade is a key mechanism for knowledge transfers, particularly from Europe to Latin America.

Author(s): Ionara Costa, Howard Rush & Andrew Grantham
Working Paper No.: 2015-13
Keywords: Emerging multinationals, multilatinas, multinational subsidiaries, knowledge flows, knowledge management

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