Transferring Organizational Practices and the Dynamics of Hybridization: Japanese Retail Multinationals in China

28 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2010

See all articles by Jos Gamble

Jos Gamble

Royal Holloway - School of Management

Abstract

Detailed case study research conducted at Japanese multinational retail firms in both their home country and their subsidiaries in China is undertaken to assess a range of prominent theoretical perspectives that have been used to account for the transfer of organizational practices. Approaches based upon culturalist, national business systems, industry sector, international division of labour, and agency perspectives are shown to be inadequate, individually, to account for the complex patterns of transfer, local adoption, and adaptation in these multinational companies. These findings highlight the value of conceptual bricolage and multi-level analysis for developing explanations that can encompass and explicate complex patterns of hybridization. The paper also identifies important factors in the dynamics of hybridization that have been neglected or downplayed in much of the existing literature. These include the significance of context specific, firm level perceptions of sources of competitive advantage as a key motive encouraging transfer of parent company practices. Crucial factors constraining transfer are the practices and norms prevalent in local labour markets. Additionally, transfer by multinational companies to transitional economies with high levels of deinstitutionalization illustrates problematic dimensions for various theoretical perspectives, including influential neo-institutionalist models.

Suggested Citation

Gamble, Jos, Transferring Organizational Practices and the Dynamics of Hybridization: Japanese Retail Multinationals in China. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 47, Issue 4, pp. 705-732, June 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1587115 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00876.x

Jos Gamble (Contact Author)

Royal Holloway - School of Management ( email )

Egham
Surrey, Egham TW20 8DG
United Kingdom
+44 1784 414094 (Phone)
+44 1784 439854 (Fax)

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