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Standardised leadership tools in MNEs ‐ critical reflections on the conditions for successful implementations

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The article is inspired by a paradox: why do MNEs like standardised leadership tools when everybody argues that the world is becoming more complex? Based on this paradox the article raises the question: under what conditions will standardisation of a leadership tool be most useful to an MNE? Previous literature suggests that standardisation of a leadership tool may have control and learning benefits, and the article explores these effects looking at external and internal contexts of MNE subsidiaries. The paper is conceptual, but draws also on examples from a case study within a Norwegian MNE. The article argues that external complexity diminishes the usefulness of standardisation to an MNE. Internal fit of the tool with other tools will increase benefits of standardisation, the article argues, whereas managerial autonomy is associated with higher subsidiary learning effects, but lower synergy and control effects.
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Keywords: Leadership; Multinationals; Standards

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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