Reverse Knowledge Transfer in Multinational Corporations: A meta-analytic review and assessment of the factors affecting the extent of knowledge leverage from the foreign subsidiary to the headquarters

Yoana Pavlova

Student thesis: Master thesis


Research on reverse knowledge transfer (i.e. from the foreign subsidiary to the headquarters) in multinational corporations is burgeoning, however, the understanding of numerous of its determinants remains rather unclear. Despite the growing inquiry of conceptual and qualitative reviews of the reverse knowledge transfer literature, no study has attempted to review prior research in order to reconcile the fragmented findings. For this purpose the method of metaanalysis is used in the current paper which estimates the impact of 12 different factors on the extent of reverse knowledge transfer based on empirical data from all studies in 13 journals between the period of 2000 - 2014. The findings indicate that the rich communication between the focal sub-unit and its parent firm, subsidiary high level of innovativeness as well as high capabilities, its dual embeddedness, size and willingness to share its competencies with the headquarters along with MNC’s entry mode as a greenfield subsidiary have a positive impact on the degree of reverse knowledge transfer, while evidence shows that subsidiary autonomy, its age and cultural distance as well as knowledge codification does not affect the extent of knowledge leverage from the daughter to the parent firm. However, the role of corporate socialization mechanisms on reverse knowledge transfer still remains unclear.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages88