Solving Complex Problems to Create Charter Extension Options: The Role of Balanced Solution Search Processes

Esther Tippmann, Phillip Christopher Nell

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    This study examines subsidiary-driven problem solving processes and their potential to create advanced solutions for charter extension options. Problem solving theory suggests that biases in problem formulation and solution search can confine problem solving potential. We thus argue that balanced solution search, or activities to reconcile the need for some solution features to be locally-tailored while others can be internationally standardized, mediates the relationships between problem complexity/headquarters involvement and the capacity to create advanced solutions. An analysis of 67 projects undertaken by 29 subsidiary units supports our hypotheses, demonstrating that these activities are a means to systematically reduce inherent problem solving biases. This study contributes to problem solving theory, the literature on headquarters’ roles in complex organizations, as well as the literature on subsidiary evolution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventSMS Special Conference St. Gallen: Rethinking Corporate Headquarters : Innovative Approaches for Managing the Multi-Divisional Firm - University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
    Duration: 28 May 201530 May 2015


    ConferenceSMS Special Conference St. Gallen
    LocationUniversity of St. Gallen
    CitySt. Gallen
    Internet address

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