Reconceptualising Hierarchies: The Disaggregation and Dispersion of Headquarters in Multinational Corporations

Phillip Christopher Nell, Philip Kappen, Tomi Laamanen

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    In this paper, we provide an introduction to the Special Issue entitled ‘Divide and Rule? The Emergence and Implications of Increasingly Disaggregated and Dispersed Headquarters Activities in Contemporary Firms’. The purpose is two-fold. First, we propose a conceptualization of headquarters activities as a dynamic system in which activities can be distributed organizationally and spatially. We explicitly break with the dominant view of the prior research on ‘the headquarters’ as a single, identifiable unit in one specific location. Second, building on the manuscripts accepted for publication in this Special Issue, we outline research implications and put forward an agenda for research on the emergence and continuous management of disaggregated and dispersed headquarters systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Management Studies
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)1121-1143
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


    • Agency theory
    • Complexity
    • Headquarters
    • Information processing theory
    • Institutional theory
    • Internationalization
    • Multinational corporation
    • Parenting
    • Resource-based view

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