Knowledge-Based Resources as Determinants of MNC Structure: Tests of an Integrative Model

Philipp Kircher, Tailan Chi, Paul Nystrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper develops and tests a theoretical model of the structural choice by multinational corporations (MNCs). The model draws on three research streams: the contingency framework, integration-responsiveness (IR) framework, and organizational economics. Insights from the three streams of work are integrated into a theory of optimal structural choice under the assumption that both the MNC and its managers make decisions on the basis of their self-interests. An important feature of the model is its exposition of knowledge-based resources as a key determinant of MNC structure. The predictions of the model are tested on a sample of 101 MNCs using a multivariate regression approach. The results confirm the role of knowledge-based resources in influencing MNC structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-238
JournalJournal of International Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • organizational structure
  • knowledge intensity
  • transaction costs
  • contingency theory
  • integration-responsiveness


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