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Strategic leaders in multinational enterprises: a role-specific microfoundational view and research agenda

Georgakakis, D., Wedell-Wedellsborg, M. E. ORCID:, Vallone, T. and Greve, P. ORCID: (2023) Strategic leaders in multinational enterprises: a role-specific microfoundational view and research agenda. Journal of International Business Studies, 54. pp. 514-537. ISSN 1478-6990

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1057/s41267-022-00582-y


Strategic leadership research in the field of international business (IB) explains how the actions and outcomes of multinational enterprises (MNE) vary with the attributes and interactions of their key decision-makers – i.e., their strategic leaders. Yet, whilst the importance of strategic leadership has gained momentum in IB, we lack a systematic understanding of the roles that strategic leaders enact in the MNE context. This omission is critical, as understanding the distinctive roles of IB decision-makers is a key prerequisite for establishing uniqueness in this emerging research field. In this study, we elaborate on the theoretical foundations of five IB strategic leadership roles and outline how the MNE context fundamentally shapes their uniqueness. Our perspective presents each of the five roles as distinctly shaped by two core microfoundational processes – bounded rationality (BRat) and bounded reliability (BRel) – which intensify the challenges facing MNE strategic leaders in their role enactment. Acknowledging that IB strategic leaders perform multiple roles simultaneously and interdependently, we conclude with an overall synthesis and guide for future research that moves toward a multi-role and multi-level understanding of IB strategic leadership.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:108628
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan


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