Subsidiary strategic influence: the role of subsidiary attention-building activities

Alexander N. Gorgijevski*, Christine Holmström Lind, Katarina Lagerström

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: By the view of attention-building activities as “tools of power,” the authors investigate the impact of subsidiary involvement in attention-building activities on the strategic influence of subsidiaries within multinational corporations (MNCs). Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on survey data from 110 international subsidiaries located in Sweden. Five hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling with linear structural relations. Findings: The study shows that organizational commitment and external scouting activities, as two attention-building activities, do not directly affect the ability of subsidiaries to gain a strategic influence in MNCs. Rather, the results provide support for the importance of headquarters’ positive attention as a mediator between such activities and subsidiary strategic influence. This implies that subsidiaries do not receive any strategic influence through these activities unless they receive explicit positive attention from the corporate headquarters. Originality/value: This study contributes to the micro-political view of the MNC by offering insights into the impact of attention-building activities of subsidiaries as a potential source of strategic influence for MNC subsidiaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-65
Number of pages18
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number13
Early online date14 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate the financial support from Handelsbanken Research Foundation. Funding was provided by Jan Wallanders and Tom Hedelius Research Foundation under Grant Number: P2016-0294:1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Alexander N. Gorgijevski, Christine Holmström Lind and Katarina Lagerström.


  • Headquarters–subsidiary relations
  • Headquarters’ attention
  • Micro-political view
  • Subsidiary influence
  • Subsidiary initiatives


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