Article in Press

Repatriates and reverse knowledge transfer in MNCs

Journal ip
International Journal of Human Resource Management
  • Fecha: 14 August 2016
  • Páginas: 1-19
  • ISSN: 14664399 09585192
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2016.1216876
  • Document Type: Article in Press
  • Publisher: Routledge info@tandf.co.uk
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group There is widely held assumption that knowledge is one of the most important drivers of firm¿s performance. Multinational companies (MNCs) have the potential advantage of acquiring and utilizing knowledge across borders. But for this potential advantage to become real, the knowledge generated in any of their units around the world should be transferred to their other units. This paper adopts an innovative approach for the study of intra-MNC knowledge transfer by focusing on the role of repatriates as transferors of knowledge from foreign subsidiaries to the headquearters, which is an under-researched topic. In particular, the paper studies the impact of repatriates¿ abilities and motivation to share knowledge (disseminative capacity) on the transfer of knowledge from subsidiaries to headquarters (reverse knowledge transfer). In addition, the paper examines the determinants of repatriates¿ disseminative capacity. After reviewing the relevant literature and proposing the hypotheses, this paper presents an empirical research with a sample of Spanish MNCs. The findings provide evidence that repatriates¿ disseminative capacity is positively associated with reverse knowledge transfer. The paper also identifies some drivers of this: the knowledge the repatriates acquired during the expatriation and the firm¿s international assignments policy.

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