Innovation process in the automobile MNCs: Implications for the role of the international subsidiaries

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 14, Number 1, p.82-98 (2014)



The scope of the present work is to provide insights into the emerging flows of innovation in the multinational corporations (MNCs) and to present some reflections for executives as how to leverage on the potential of the so called reverse innovation. Our study focuses on the automobile industry, and investigates the dynamics of innovation in three MNCs, whose focal subsidiaries are located in Brazil. According to our evidences, the reverse innovation phenomenon is accompanied by a radical transformation of the roles, responsibilities and activities located among the parent company and its subsidiaries. What clearly emerges is the fact that innovation flows are less and less parent-to-subsidiary. The subsidiary-to-parent flow of innovation is increasing, and a subsidiary-to-subsidiary stream is emerging. This phenomenon is redefining the relevance of the parent company in managing the innovation processes within an MNC. Copyright © 2014 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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