Fostering Operational Management “Best Practices” in Subsidiary Plants in the Western Balkans: The Role of MNC Home-country Environment and Resource Allocation

Jelena Cerar*, Mihaela Dimitrova, Phillip C. Nell

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

We investigate the adoption of operational management “best practices” in multinational cor-poration (MNC) subsidiary plants in the Western Balkans. Building on the Practice-Based View (PBV), we suggest that subsidiary plants are more likely to operate according to widely recog-nized best practices, if these practices are already common in the MNC home country. We also examine the degree to which the MNC can facilitate best practices in their plants by allocating organizational and human resources. We test our hypotheses using survey data from subsidiary managers and secondary company data (n =129), supplemented with manager interviews (n =14), collected from European, U.S., and Asian MNCs with subsidiary plants in Bosnia and Her-zegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and North Macedonia. Results indicate that the subsidiary plants adopt practices that are common in the MNC home country. They do so to a greater extent when the MNC commits organizational resources to the plants, such as codified written procedures and trainings. Contrary to our expectations, there is no benefit to allocating human resources, such as expatriates and business travelers. We provide insights into the transfer and implementation of best practices in the Western Balkan context, enhance our understanding of the PBV by presenting a specific application of this theoretical perspective, and provide practically relevant results for managers and policymakers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100918
JournalJournal of International Management
Volume28
Issue number2
Number of pages23
ISSN1075-4253
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online: 30 November 2021.

Keywords

  • Operational management practices
  • Western Balkans
  • Practice-Based View
  • Multinational corporation
  • Organisational resources
  • Human resources

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