We investigate the adoption of operational management “best practices” in multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiary plants in the Western Balkans. Building on the Practice-Based View (PBV), we suggest that subsidiary plants are more likely to operate according to widely recognized best practices, if these practices are already common in the MNC home country. We also examine the degree to which the MNC can facilitate best practices in their plants by allocating organizational and human resources. We test our hypotheses using survey data from subsidiary managers and secondary company data (n = 129), supplemented with manager interviews (n = 14), collected from European, U.S., and Asian MNCs with subsidiary plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and North Macedonia. Results indicate that the subsidiary plants adopt practices that are common in the MNC home country. They do so to a greater extent when the MNC commits organizational resources to the plants, such as codified written procedures and trainings. Contrary to our expectations, there is no benefit to allocating human resources, such as expatriates and business travelers. We provide insights into the transfer and implementation of best practices in the Western Balkan context, enhance our understanding of the PBV by presenting a specific application of this theoretical perspective, and provide practically relevant results for managers and policymakers.
Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)
- 509018 Knowledge management
- 505027 Administrative studies
- 502052 Business administration
- 506009 Organisation theory
- 502044 Business management
- 507026 Economic geography