Divinity Rules: Towards a Revised Typology of Multinational Corporate Parenting Styles

European Journal of International Management, Forthcoming

Posted: 6 Sep 2016

See all articles by Igor Gurkov

Igor Gurkov

National Research University Higher School of Economics; National Research University Higher School of economics

Michael Morley

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Date Written: September 3, 2016

Abstract

Based on a review of allied literatures, along with evidence from two waves of research conducted in a range of wholly owned multinational subsidiaries operating in Russia, we seek to reignite interest in corporate parenting theory. In an effort at so doing, we advance a revised and extended typology of multinational corporate parenting styles designed to capture the continuum of different approaches identifiable in multinational headquarter-subsidiary interactions. Invoking ancient Greek mythology, we propose a four-way classification of the observed dominant styles. Multinational corporations pursuing a Cronus parenting style emphasize exploitation and demonstrate a proclivity for continuously extracting value from their subsidiary units. In contrast, multinationals following a Rhea parenting style focus on adding value to their subsidiaries. In adopting this posture, they place a strong emphasis on care and accommodation in parent-subsidiary interactions. Zeus style multinational parents encourage heroism among their offspring, something that is commonly leveraged through adding financial value to the subsidiary and extracting a range of other types of value in return. Finally, those multinational parents pursuing an Athena parenting style place an emphasis on developing and safeguarding wisdom in their subsidiaries and display a continuous desire for a balanced exchange of value in their ongoing interactions. Arising from our revised typology of multinational corporate parenting styles and the illustrative case examples provided, we set down a number of possible lines of inquiry for future research.

Keywords: Multinational Companies; Corporate Parenting Styles; Headquarters; Subsidiaries; Russia

JEL Classification: M16

Suggested Citation

Gurkov, Igor and Gurkov, Igor and Morley, Michael J., Divinity Rules: Towards a Revised Typology of Multinational Corporate Parenting Styles (September 3, 2016). European Journal of International Management, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2834242

Igor Gurkov (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 101000
Russia

National Research University Higher School of economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 101000
Russia

Michael J. Morley

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland
+353-61-202273 (Phone)
+353-61-202572 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
917
PlumX Metrics