Management International Review

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 449–469 | Cite as

Headquarters’ Attention and Its Effect on Subsidiary Performance

  • Tina C. AmbosEmail author
  • Julian Birkinshaw
Research Article


  • Drawing on a sample of 283 subsidiaries in three countries, we investigate how headquarters’ attention affects subsidiary performance.

  • Scholars have recently argued that top management’s attention is the most critical, scarce and sought-after resource in organizations (Haas and Hansen 2001; Bouquet and Birkinshaw 2008). However, the question how headquarters’ attention affects subsidiary companies remains largely unexplored.

  • Our study shows that subsidiaries which have a high level of strategic choice and receive attention from headquarters perform better than their peers. More specifically, we find that the interactions of subsidiaries’ autonomy, inter-unit power and initiatives with attention increase subsidiary performance.


Headquarters-subsidiary relationships Attention Strategic choice Subsidiary performance 


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© Gabler Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International ManagementJohannes Kepler UniversityLinzAustria
  2. 2.Strategic and International ManagementLondon Business SchoolLondonUnited Kingdom

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