Julian Birkinshaw

Learn More
Applying a new theoretical and empirical approach to intrafirm knowledge transfers, this paper provides some initial insight to the little-researched phenomenon of why some subsidiaries are isolated from knowledge-transfer activities within the multinational corporation (MNC). Knowledge transfer is framed as a problemistic search process initiated by the(More)
The challenges of coming up with fresh ideas and realizing profits from them are different for every company. One firm may excel at finding good ideas but may have weak systems for bringing them to market. Another organization may have a terrific process for funding and rolling out new products and services but a shortage of concepts to develop. In this(More)
Organizational ambidexterity has emerged as a new research paradigm in organization theory, yet several issues fundamental to this debate remain controversial. We explore four central tensions here: Should organizations achieve ambidexterity through differentiation or through integration? Does ambidexterity occur at the individual or organizational level?(More)
This paper addresses issues of global innovation in multinational corporations by examining the patterns of communication and control in international R&D operations. Using a sample of 110 international R&D units from 15 multinational corporations, we identify three types of R&D unit role (local adaptor, international adaptor, international creator). We(More)
This paper investigates how subsidiary companies are able to contribute to the firm-specific advantages of the multinational corporation (MNC). Specifically we examine the determinants of the contributory role of the subsidiary and subsidiary initiative. The study reveals the following significant relationships: (a) internal subsidiary resources in(More)
This study investigates how foreign subsidiaries gain attention from corporate headquarters. Using detailed questionnaire and archival data on 283 subsidiaries of multinational enterprises, our analysis revealed three significant findings. First, attention decisions are partially based on the structural positions that subsidiary units occupy within a(More)
This paper seeks to understand the conditions under which ‘centers of excellence’ emerge in foreign subsidiaries of multinational firms. We define a center of excellence as an organizational unit that embodies a set of capabilities that has been explicitly recognized by the firm as an important source of value creation, with the intention that these(More)
We examine the tensions that make it difficult for a research-oriented university to achieve commercial outcomes. Building on the organizational ambidexterity literature, we specify the nature of the tensions (between academic and commercially-oriented activities) at both organizational and individual levels of analysis, and how these can be resolved. We(More)