Attention in words, not in deeds: Effects of attention dissonance on headquarters-subsidiary communication in multinational corporations

Hammad Haq, Rian Drogendijk, Desiree Blankenburg Holm

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29 Citations (Scopus)
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We introduce the notion of attention dissonance, where the subsidiary within a headquarter-subsidiary relationship feels that headquarters’ attention at the cognitive level, reflected in its strategic intentions (attention perspective), is not aligned with the routine actions the headquarters performs vis-à-vis the specific subsidiary (attention engagement). Using a comparative case study design, we investigate a European organization with subsidiaries located in both emerging and advanced markets. We show how subsidiaries in the emerging markets face attention dissonance, which impedes their ability to get business opportunities across to headquarters, thereby compromising a necessary condition for realizing economic potential in these emerging markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • attention
  • communication
  • business opportunities
  • emerging markets
  • headquarter-subsidiary relationship

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