Beyond Simple Headquarters Configurations: Headquarters Involvement in Multibusiness Firms’ Innovation Activities

Henrik Dellestrand, Philip Kappen, Phillip Christopher Nell

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    We investigate “dual headquarters involvement”, i.e. corporate and divisional headquarters’ simultaneous involvement in subsidiaries’ innovation development projects. Analyses draw on 85 innovation projects in 23 multibusiness firms and reveal that cross-divisional innovation importance, i.e., an innovation that is important for the firm beyond the divisional boundaries, drives dual headquarters involvement in innovation development. Contrary to expectations, on average, a non-significant effect of cross-divisional embeddedness on dual headquarters involvement is found. Yet, both cross-divisional importance and embeddedness effects are contingent on the overall complexity of the innovation project as signified by the size of the development network. The results lend support for the notion that parenting in complex structures entails complex headquarters structures and that we need to go beyond simple conceptualizations of headquarters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventSMS Special Conference St. Gallen: Rethinking Corporate Headquarters : Innovative Approaches for Managing the Multi-Divisional Firm - University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
    Duration: 28 May 201530 May 2015


    ConferenceSMS Special Conference St. Gallen
    LocationUniversity of St. Gallen
    CitySt. Gallen
    Internet address

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