Unbundling European Operations: Regional Management and Corporate Flexibility in American and Japanese MNCS

Lehrer, Mark; Asakawa, Kazuhiro
October 1999
Journal of World Business;Fall99, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p267
Academic Journal
Empirical research on the European operations of 19 American and Japanese multinational companies (MNCs) suggested, first, that the strategic importance of the region did not translate into an enhanced role for regional headquarters, and second, that American and Japanese MNCs are " unbundling" their European operations as a means of enhancing their flexibility. American MNCs preferred to carve up regional tasks for delegation to local subsidiaries, with coordination assured increasingly by "councils" bringing top European managers together. Japanese MNCs have not altered the formal organizational structure; but the recent internationalization of basic research labs in Europe has forced them to modify their previously monolithic approach to European subsidiaries.


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