Purpose: This study examines how emerging market multinational enterprises operating in the service sector manage knowledge and team members in their overseas subsidiaries and what role expatriates play in their operations. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use a multiple case study design and interview 20 senior managers representing 16 Indian IT firm's subsidiaries in Australia. The onsite-offshore concept and the SECI model are used to explain the knowledge management process. Findings: The findings show that Indian IT firms mostly transfer knowledge from their headquarters in the parent country to their subsidiaries in the host country using the onsite-offshore model where work is divided and coordinated between team members situated between the two locations. Furthermore, the host country subsidiaries have limited independence in decision-making due to a forward, one-way diffusion of knowledge, thus limiting a two-way interaction between the HQ and the subsidiary for opportunities to create and exchange new knowledge. Originality/value: The study is one of the few to investigate the onsite-offshore phenomenon in service-based emerging market multinational enterprises.
- Emerging market multinational enterprise
- Globally distributed teams
- Information technology
- Knowledge management
- Service industry