Creating Marketing Innovation Abroad: The Value of Marketing Professionals in Foreign MNC Subsidiaries

Ulrich Kaiser, Wolfgang Sofka, Christoph Grimpe*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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When foreign MNC subsidiaries commercialize their products and services on foreign markets, they oftentimes rely on new marketing approaches such as a new pricing model adapted to local customers and competitors. Since MNC subsidiaries typically suffer from “liabilities of foreignness”, they depend on skilled marketing professionals who possess a deep understanding of host country markets to implement these marketing innovations. However, the value that these individuals can create for MNC subsidiaries vis-à-vis domestic firms and under which host country market conditions their B2B marketing skills are most valuable is poorly understood. We integrate mechanisms from research on value creation through marketing innovation in MNC subsidiaries into strategic human capital theory and predict higher value creation to translate into salary premiums for these individuals compared to when they would work for domestic firms. Moreover, we argue that these salary premium effects depend on the innovativeness of the host country competition which challenges MNC subsidiaries and makes marketing innovation even more salient. We test and support our hypotheses using employer-employee data for 25,374 marketing professionals from 2010 to 2012 in Denmark. The findings have broad relevance for the management of strategic human capital management in the creation of marketing innovation.
TidsskriftIndustrial Marketing Management
Sider (fra-til)145-159
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2023


  • Marketing innovation
  • Strategic human capital
  • Marketing professionals
  • Salary premiums
  • Host country innovativeness