Dynamics of reverse knowledge transfer in MNCs: case studies of an American MNC and its Japanese subsidiary

  • Hiroyuki Ishihara

Student thesis: Doctor of Business Administration


Recently, facing the fierce competition around the world, the headquarters of many MNCs are under pressure to make a decision quickly and effectively for their global marketing strategy. Under such a situation, how effectively the headquarters can obtain knowledge regarding the market situation of subsidiaries around the world is important. In this research, the concept of reverse knowledge transfer is applied to the space of the headquarters' acquisition of knowledge from subsidiaries, from the perspective of decision-making for global marketing strategies. In the extant literature, however, studies on reverse knowledge transfer analyzing the mechanisms dynamically in a multi-faceted way from the perspective of transferring marketing-related knowledge are rare. In order to capture the reverse knowledge transfer mechanisms in a MNC precisely and dynamically, three case studies of the headquarters of an American MNC and its Japanese subsidiary were conducted. Through analysis of the case studies, two new factors were found; one is 'bypass effect', and the other is 'heeding capacity'. By bringing in those new factors, a new dynamic model for reverse knowledge transfer is proposed.
Date of Award31 Dec 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJudith Zolkiewski (Supervisor) & Ilias Petrounias (Supervisor)


  • heeding capacity
  • reverse knowledge transfer
  • disseminative capacity
  • bypass effect
  • tie strength

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