Entrepreneurial leadership and MNE subsidiary performance: The moderating role of subsidiary context

Almasa Sarabi, Fabian J. Froese, Daniel H.M. Chng, Klaus E. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Managers of international subsidiaries, especially subsidiary CEOs, operate at critical interfaces within multinational enterprises (MNEs) and hold strategic responsibility for the operations in their country. Yet, their impact on subsidiary performance has received scant research attention. Building on the subsidiary entrepreneurship and strategic leadership literatures, we develop a model of how subsidiary CEOs’ entrepreneurial leadership affects subsidiary performance, and how this relationship is moderated by the subsidiary context that determines managerial discretion. We combine survey data of 291 international subsidiaries in South Korea with archival data to test our hypotheses. Our results show that subsidiary CEOs’ entrepreneurial leadership enhances subsidiary performance and that this relationship is strengthened by managerial discretion. Our study highlights the pivotal role of subsidiary CEOs within MNEs and contributes to a microfoundational understanding of international subsidiary management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101672
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing


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