Subsidiary knowledge flow strategies and purpose of expatriate assignments

Adeline Cheong, Manjit S. Sandhu, Ronald Edwards, Wai Ching Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Although a general association between the role of international assignees and knowledge transfer has been noted in the international human resource literature, very little is known on how subsidiary knowledge flow strategies influence the purpose of expatriate assignments. Building specifically on Gupta and Govindarajan's typology of subsidiary knowledge flow strategies and Hocking's expatriate assignment purpose, we examine the link between subsidiary knowledge flow and the purpose of expatriate assignments using a mixed method approach. Combining survey data and qualitative interviews from 156 subsidiaries in the service and manufacturing sector in Malaysia and Singapore, we find that subsidiaries with divergent strategic roles have different knowledge flow strategies, thus leading to different purposes of expatriate assignments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-462
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Knowledge flows
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Multinational corporation
  • Purpose of expatriation
  • Subsidiaries

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