Securing Access to Lower-Cost Talent Globally: The Dynamics of Active Embedding and Field Structuration
University of Massachusetts at Boston
Free University of Berlin
Technical University of Berlin
March 1, 2012
Regional Studies, Vol. 46, 1201-1218, 2012
This article examines how multinational corporations (MNCs) shape institutional conditions in emerging economies to secure access to high-skilled, yet lower-cost science and engineering talent. Based on two in-depth case studies of engineering offshoring projects of German automotive suppliers in Romania and China we analyze how MNCs engage in ‘active embedding’ by aligning local institutional conditions with global offshoring strategies and operational needs. MNCs thereby contribute to the structuration of field relations and practices of sourcing knowledge-intensive work from globally dispersed locations. Our findings stress the importance of institutional processes across geographic boundaries that regulate and get shaped by MNC activities.
Keywords: offshoring, international human resource management, emerging economies, knowledge work, science and engineering talent, institutional processes, structuration theory
JEL Classification: J23, J24, J44, J31, M51, M53, M54, L14, L21, L22, L24, L62, L84, O14, R11, P45, P48, F59, F21, F22Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 8, 2011 ; Last revised: March 1, 2013
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