Interpretive frames as the organization´s “Mirror”: from espoused values to social integration in MNEs

Friday, 07 October 2016 - Helene Loe Colman, Birgitte Grøgaard


Many multinational enterprises (MNEs) seek to strengthen their competitive positions through internal integration. Socialization is a key integration mechanism to leverage advantages spread across MNEs’ geographically dispersed organizational units. Parent organizations often communicate a set of values intended to guide action throughout the MNE, referred to as espoused values, to initiate a socialization process. However, we have limited insights into how espoused values are endorsed and subsequently contribute to MNE integration. Through a case study, we analyze how espoused values are interpreted by the foreign subsidiaries and influence subsequent subsidiary behavior. Our findings suggest that the socialization process is complex, where the local context and perceptions of headquarter nationality provide the frames for interpretation. We identify that even though the espoused values may differ in their operationalization in local contexts, they can still contribute to MNE integration. This study contributes to existing MNE literature by conceptualizing the role of interpretive frames and the endorsement of values in achieving integration through espoused values

Grøgaard, Birgitte and Helene Loe Colman. 2016. “Interpretive frames as the organization´s “Mirror”: from espoused values to social integration in MNEs.” Management International Review, 56 (2):171-194

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