Knowledge creation capability in MNC subsidiaries: Examining the roles of global and local knowledge inflows and subsidiary knowledge stocks

Saba Colakoglu, Sachiko Yamao, David P. Lepak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Grounded in knowledge-based theories of the multinational corporation (MNC) and building on organizational learning literature, this paper develops and tests a model of MNC subsidiaries' knowledge creation capability as a joint function of knowledge inflows to subsidiaries and their knowledge stocks (i.e., subsidiaries' internal human, social, and organizational capital). Survey-based data from 106 subsidiaries located in the U.S. suggests that local (i.e., host country) knowledge inflows to a subsidiary are more effective in enhancing a subsidiary's knowledge creation capability compared to global knowledge inflows from other units of the same MNC. Furthermore, results point to a not-invented-here syndrome in the exploitation of knowledge sourced from the parent company; such that when a subsidiary's internal social capital is high, the relationship between global knowledge inflows and knowledge creation capability is negative and when it is low, the relationship becomes positive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Absorptive capacity
  • Human capital
  • Knowledge creation
  • Knowledge flows
  • Organizational capital
  • Organizational learning
  • Social capital
  • Subsidiary management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing

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