Retaining Marketing Professionals in Foreign MNC Subsidiaries: The Role of Learning Opportunities

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Skilled marketing professionals are of strategic importance for foreign MNC subsidiaries because they understand the particularities of local customers and can balance them with the MNC's global marketing strategies. However, the factors keeping them from leaving for other career opportunities are hardly understood. We reason that MNC subsidiaries are more likely to retain marketing professionals if they can offer valuable learning opportunities. We suggest that these arise when subsidiaries have digital expertise that enables professionals to deploy digital technologies in a creative way for innovative marketing. Integrating the learning opportunities from digital expertise for innovative marketing with strategic hu-man capital mechanisms explaining retention, we argue that digital expertise creates non-monetary incentives and hence voluntary mobility constraints for marketing professionals. Moreover, we argue that the retention effect from digital expertise is stronger than for a subsidiary's R&D expertise and in subsidiaries specialized in marketing activities. We test and support all hypotheses using employer-employee data for 5181 marketing professionals working for 539 foreign MNC subsidiaries in Denmark from 2010 to 2012. Our findings have important implications for the persistence of marketing capabilities in MNC subsidiaries and the effect of digital expertise for the retention of skilled subsidiary employees.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonja Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
Conference number: 82


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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