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Fei Wu

DBA Graduate - 2013

Thesis title

Investigation on mechanism and influential factors of competitiveness relaying: case study of competitiveness relaying from MNC to its subsidiary in China

Supervisor(s)

Luigi Serio
For enterprises, as their domestic and existing markets become mature and saturated, they will think about going-global and exploring new territory of market to secure their pace of business growth. Gradually, they will be becoming real multinational corporations (MNC). In the new environment of economy, how can ambitious MNCs achieve their goals of business expansion and duplicate their successes as they have done in the past? How can they set up subsidiaries under different cultural environment, and let the subsidiaries survive and grow up well? How have these headquarters successfully transferred their well-proved competitive capabilities to these young subsidiaries and educated them to build their competitive powers eventually? To answer above questions, concentrating on the competitiveness relay from headquarters to subsidiaries, a framework of theory about competitiveness composition and relaying model has been developed in the thesis. Furthermore, under the direction of the competitiveness relaying theory, the roles played by influential factors in relaying process have been investigated, and the case of middle layer competitiveness relaying based on OEE tool in Degussa’s subsidiary –DEA has also been studied. The theoretical framework of competitiveness composition and relaying model Based on the theory, competitiveness is composed of both knowledge and carrier. The knowledge is the key ingredient of competitiveness, and the rest of competitiveness is the carrier of knowledge. Correspondingly, an enterprise’s competitiveness could be summarized as follows: Corporate competitiveness = overall knowledge + corporate organization Corporate competitiveness consists of three types of competitiveness, and each has its special knowledge content and carrier. Core competitiveness = Tacit knowledge + Combinatory (cultural + organizational + technical) systems iii Middle layer competitiveness = a mixture of tacit and explicit systematic knowledge+ processes of procedural activities Surface layer competitiveness= a mixture of explicit knowledge and information + products Among above three types of competitiveness, although core competitiveness can play an important role in sustainable development of an enterprise, middle layer competitiveness is more critical in relaying the competitive power from headquarters to subsidiaries. In general, competitiveness relay involves in four steps, and they are competitiveness decomposition, knowledge transfer, knowledge receiving and competitiveness creation. Investigation on the significance of influential factors on relaying performance With the help of questionnaires, 18 key influential factors identified and summarized based on relevant literatures about knowledge transfer have been investigated to see their impacts on the effectiveness of competitiveness relaying.