Knowledge-based and network-based activities are known determinants of foreign subsidiary influence. We demonstrate that the interaction between these factors is essential in understanding how subsidiaries gain influence within an MNC. We test this using data on 184 foreign-owned subsidiaries in the UK. The results indicate that the possession of strategic resources (knowledge or embedded relations) increases subsidiary influence only when the knowledge is transferred back to headquarters. Importantly, the impact of subsidiary-headquarters embeddedness, external embeddedness and knowledge development on influence is mediated by the extent of reverse knowledge transfer. This mediating role sheds new light on the antecedents to subsidiary influence.