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The impacts of inward knowledge transfer and absorptive capacity on the turnover of host country nationals in MNE subsidiaries: a multilevel modeling approach

Park, J.S.Chang, J.Y.Lee, Taehun
Issue Date
Emerald Group Holdings Ltd.
Absorptive capacity; Host country nationals; Knowledge received; Knowledge transfer; Multilevel survival analysis; Multinational corporation; Turnover
Journal of Knowledge Management
Journal Title
Journal of Knowledge Management
Purpose: This study aims to find how the turnover of host country nationals (HCNs) would be affected by the knowledge transfer from a headquarter to a subsidiary. Knowledge transfer in a multinational corporation (MNC) has been discussed as a critical factor in the MNC’s success. Because HCNs are essential to synergizing with a new knowledge inflow during this knowledge transfer process, their turnover entails negative consequences such as knowledge loss. Design/methodology/approach: This paper empirically tests the unbalance between knowledge received (KR) and absorptive capacity (AC) as the most critical organizational predictor by using the secondary longitudinal records and survey data of 4,915 employees. Multilevel survival analysis is used to calculate the individuals’ turnover hazard. Findings: While finding that the primary effect of transferred knowledge is to reduce turnover, the study demonstrates the unbalance between a subsidiary’s AC and KR increases the likelihood of HCNs’ turnover within the organization. The authors also recognize the possibility of nonlinear trends of KR and AC on the turnover hazard. Originality/value: The authors answer how knowledge transfer shapes a subsidiary’s work environment to prevent or increase turnover, which has been barely examined for HCNs who comprise the crucial demographic group in knowledge transfer. To enhance the originality further, this study empirically observes the actual turnover of HCNs with a conceptually comprehensive view incorporating both learning and political approaches. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.
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College of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology > 1. Journal Articles


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Lee, Tae Hun
사회과학대학 (심리학과)
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