Biases in Financial Resource Allocation to Subsidiary Projects: The Role of Psychic Distance

Jelena Cerar, Phillip C. Nell, Benoit Decreton

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This paper investigates biases of senior managers in the financial resource allocation process. In particular, we analyze the role that perceived psychic distance plays in headquarters (HQ) managers’ decisions to fund entrepreneurial initiatives stemming from their subsidiaries. We used an experimental vignette approach with 109 managers from 35 countries. We find that psychic distance to a subsidiary country is negatively related to resource allocation of HQ managers only when proposals were submitted by expatriates. A potential explanation is that expatriates are perceived to lack relevant contextual knowledge for such initiatives to be valuable. This result is particularly striking because the payoff functions of our experimental design were clearly not dependent on these characteristics. We contribute to the literature on psychic distance, biases and resource allocation within multinational corporations (MNCs).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eightieth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsGuclu Atinc
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2020
Article number17435
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2020: Broadening Our Sight - Virtual
Duration: 7 Aug 202011 Aug 2020
Conference number: 80


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2020
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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