National subsidiaries are thought to play differentiated roles in achieving the MNC’s overall corporate goals. Drawing from evidence in the social psychology literature on the effects of group type on employee attitudes, this paper investigates the relationship between subsidiary role type and the attitudes of subsidiary managers toward both their local subsidiary and the MNC as a global entity. Bartlett and Ghoshal’s (1986) framework of MNC subsidiary role types is combined with social identity theory to assess attitudinal differences between subsidiary managers on their psychological attachment to the subsidiary and the wider organization, and the implications for their willingness to cooperate and exert effort for the benefit of the local and global levels of the organization. The analysis is based on questionnaire data collected at the Indian and Pakistani subsidiaries of a British MNC in the consumer products industry. The results indicate that attitudinal differences between subsidiary managers can be at least partially explained by MNC subsidiary role type.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/carol_reade/22/