Entrepreneurial contexts and knowledge coordination within the multinational corporation

Williams, Christopher; Lee, Soo Hee
April 2011
Journal of World Business;Apr2011, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p253
Academic Journal
Abstract: We present a new perspective on entrepreneurship within multinational corporations (MNCs) based on entrepreneurial contexts and knowledge coordination. First, we develop a framework of four contexts for analyzing different mechanisms by which MNCs pursue opportunities across borders. Second, we develop propositions for predicting how entrepreneurial knowledge is coordinated (transferred and internalized) between these contexts. The coordination problem lies at the heart of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship within modern MNCs although its inter-contextual nature has been neglected in the literature. In our view, MNC entrepreneurship comprises (1) a superset of entrepreneurial activity from four distinct contexts; and (2) the inter-contextual coordination of knowledge of opportunity, knowledge of solution, and learning from outcomes of initiatives. Drawing primarily on the knowledge-based view of the MNC, we argue that knowledge coordination between multiple entrepreneurial contexts constitutes a socially complex capability and potential source of competitive advantage for the MNC. This holistic view of MNC entrepreneurship raises fresh questions for researchers and strategic leaders of MNCs.


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