Expatriate knowledge transfer, subsidiary absorptive capacity, and subsidiary performance
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In this study, we theoretically identify three dimensions of expatriate competencies - ability, motivation, and opportunity seeking - for knowledge transfer. Integrating the ability-motivation-opportunity framework and the absorptive capacity perspective, we propose that expatriate competencies in knowledge transfer influence a subsidiary's performance through the knowledge received by the subsidiary, but that this indirect effect is stronger when subsidiary absorptive capacity is greater. We collected multisource, time-lagged data from 162 British subsidiaries of Taiwanese multinational firms. The results support our hypotheses. Overall, we contribute to expatriation theory and research by revealing specific expatriate competencies as well as identifying boundary conditions for successful expatriate knowledge transfer.
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