The relative impact of country of origin and universal contingencies on internationalization strategies and corporate control in multinational enterprises: Worldwide and European perspectives

A.W. Harzing, A. Sorge

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

234 Citaten (Scopus)


We examine the importance of country-of-origin effects and of universal contingencies such as industrial recipes in organizational practices at the international level of multinational enterprises. This is based on a study comparing European (Finnish, French, German, Dutch, Swiss, Swedish, British), American and Japanese multinational enterprises. Although multinationals are highly internationalized by definition, our study shows their organizational control practices at the international level to be more than anything else explained by their country of origin. Universal contingencies such as size and industry, on the other hand, are more related to internationalization strategy. Internationalization strategy and organizational control are associated with different sets of variables; to this extent they appear more decoupled with regard to each other than the literature suggests. Multinationals appear to follow tracks of coordination and control in which they have become embedded in their country of origin. Nationally specific institutions and culture have to be interpreted as particularistic but universally practicable facilitators of internationally competing organizational practices.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)187-214
Aantal pagina's28
TijdschriftOrganization Studies
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusPublished - feb-2003

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