Inventors mobility from MNC subsidiaries: The role of institutional distance and experience

Dhruba Borah, Silvia Massini, Lucia Piscitello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Inventors’ outward mobility from MNC subsidiaries is a concern to them because it often leads to knowledge spillovers to competitors and could jeopardise MNCs’ global R&D investments and their competitive advantage. In order to explain inventors’ outward mobility in foreign countries, we anchor our study to institutional theory and focus on the role of formal and informal institutional distance between the host and the MNC’s home country. We posit that experience plays a moderating role at both the micro level (i.e. at the individual inventor-level) and macro level (i.e. at the MNC- level). Our empirical analysis refers to foreign MNCs in the ICT sector in India, in the period 1996-2016, and adopts a novel methodology of tracking 1,421 inventors’ mobility on their LinkedIn profiles. Our econometric findings confirm the role of institutional distance on inventors’ departure as well as the moderating role of experience. However, we also find that the inventors’ experience moderates only the impact of informal distance on inventors’ mobility, while the international experience of the MNC moderates the impact of formal institutional distance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAOM Meeting, Boston
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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