MNE Center - Subsidiary Dynamic Relationship of Center-Led Change Initiatives From an Actor-Centered Approach


In the general IB literature, the processes or dynamics of micro-political behaviors of center-led change initiatives are areas of limited research; little is known about the managers’ interplay within. In this article, we demonstrate some of the patterns of interaction enacted by center and subsidiary managers involved in center-led change initiatives and how they influence the development and outcome of those initiatives. This article contributes to the sensemaking in change literature by illustrating detailed accounts of how the interplay between center and subsidiary managers determine the outcome of change initiatives. This multiple embedded case study performed at a mobile network operator MNE suggests that early subsidiarys involvement is key to ensure a strong buy-in throughout the development stage of the change initiative. The subsidiary that adopts the most center-led initiatives displays intense sensemaking by managers at both the center-subsidiary and at the subsidiary level. In the subsidiary that goes beyond adoption and into the realm of adaptation, high levels of organizational sensemaking and sensegiving were happening at the same time. Sensemaking and sensegiving were active even at the subsidiary-to-subsidiary manager level. Center managers should consider stronger and deeper sensegiving at the development initiatives stage.  This study suggests that the center-led initiatives outcome mostly depends on the center managers’ role and guidance throughout the critical development stage.

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Publication Date

18 December 2019

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Future Academy



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1st Edition




Business, management, behavioural management, macroeconomics, behavioural science, behavioural sales, behavioural marketing

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Abdullah*, N., & Ismail, M. N. (2019). MNE Center - Subsidiary Dynamic Relationship of Center-Led Change Initiatives From an Actor-Centered Approach. In Z. Bekirogullari, M. Y. Minas, & R. X. Thambusamy (Eds.), Business & Economics - BE-ci 2017, vol 1. European Proceedings of Multidisciplinary Sciences (pp. 106-118). Future Academy.