Management Seminars: Tony Edwards
Professor Tony Edwards (King's College London)
G.15, 15-19 Tyndall's Park Road, BRISTOL BS8 1PQ
Title: Globalizing Actors in Multinational Companies: Linking Norms, Skills and Institutions
This paper seeks to build a robust conceptualisation of the role of those who are central to processes of integration within multinational companies, who we refer to as ‘globalizing actors’, defines as those individuals within MNCs who have some authority in the creation, diffusion and implementation of global norms that affect work. We address three specific questions. First, how can we conceive of the spaces within which these globalizing actors operate? We avoid the simple dichotomy between individuals who work either in the HQ or in a subsidiary, instead recognising that many actors operate within a range of cross-border structures and global teams. Second, if globalizing actors have the capacity and authority to create, disseminate and implement norms, how can we conceptualize these norms? We argue that understanding the way in which the spaces that globalizing actors occupy are structured, and the skills that actors possess and utilise in operating in these spaces, requires a conceptualisation of norms that is lacking in relevant literatures. In particular, we will explore the relationship of norms to institutions. Third, if the functions of globalizing actors are diverse, are we able to identify distinct types of globalizing actor? We distinguish between those within the dominant coalition and those outside it, and those who bring about changes to norm that have an evolutionary impact and those who initiate norms that are transformative in nature.