MNC Headquarters as Global Network Orchestrators: Insights from Headquarters Relocation Patterns in Europe

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    Despite increased interest in headquarters (HQ) and their activities, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of the drivers of HQ relocations and their consequences. We seek to address this gap by examining whether HQ relocations are primarily driven by cost-reduction or value-creation motives, whether these motivations vary by HQ type and how these relocation patterns vary over time. We explore these questions on the basis of a unique hand-collected database of 227 HQ relocations in Europe between 2000 and 2012. Our findings illustrate that different types of HQ units play their orchestrating role in different ways and that their relocations are driven by different motives. Furthermore, our data suggest that although all types of HQ units are increasingly mobile, the implications of relocations for the MNC may differ considerably by HQ type. These findings contribute to a more fine-grained understanding of the drivers of HQ relocations and open up various new avenues for future research on HQ relocation and the role of HQ units in the orchestration of MNCs’ internal networks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOrchestration of the Global Network Organization
    EditorsTorben Pedersen, Markus Venzin, Timothy M. Devinney, Laszlo Tihanyi
    Place of PublicationBingley
    PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
    Publication date2014
    ISBN (Print)9781783509539
    ISBN (Electronic)9781783509546
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    SeriesAdvances in International Management

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