The integration-responsiveness (IR) framework with the typology of international, multi-domestic, global and transnational MNE strategies has become a standard in international management textbooks. In particular, the 'transnational strategy' is advocated by some gurus, but considered unworkable by other scholars. Yet, despite the popularity of the framework, and the concept of 'transnational strategy' in particular, surprisingly little evidence exists for under which conditions this strategy is most appropriate. This paper revisits the typology using a contingency approach suggesting that the transnational strategy works well if it "fits" with other elements of a subsidiary's strategy. We test hypotheses derived from this perspective on a sample of subsidiaries in two emerging economies. We find that transnational strategy enhances subsidiary performance in particular if the subsidiary is wholly owned, if it was not established by acquisition, and if it is highly export oriented.
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