Regional Headquarter’s Dual Agency Role: Micro-Political Strategies of Alignment and Self Interest

Kieran M. Conroy, David G. Collings, Johanna Clancy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
144 Downloads (Pure)


The increased research focus on the networked perspective of the multinational enterprise (MNE) reflects a greater delegation of responsibility from corporate headquarters(CHQ) to subsidiary and intermediary units such as regional headquarters (RHQ). This shift has increased the intensity of political interactions between key actors within the MNE. Despite the recent rise in studies on the micro-political perspective of the MNE to date, little empirical work has explored this issue in t he context of the CHQ–RHQ relationship. Drawing insights from agency theory and micro-politics, the authors focus on the context in which RHQs develop micro-political strategies in order to manage the flow and exchange of knowledge with CHQ. They show how RHQ may exhibit a ‘dual agency’role when dealing with CHQ, in that it is characterized as a principal and agent, each requiring different micro-political knowledge strategies. As a principal, RHQ will develop micro-political knowledge strategies to increase alignment with CHQ. As an agent, RHQ develops micro-political knowledge strategies to pursue its self-interests. Having identified different RHQ agency roles, the authors develop a conceptual model that outlines how alignment and self-interest-seeking behaviours from RHQ are manifest through different micro-political knowledge strategies in its agency relationship w ith CHQ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-406
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Issue number3
Early online date03 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2017


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