Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) to the Technological University Dublin, October, 2006.


This is a study of subsidiary entrepreneurship. In recent years entrepreneurship has been promoted by academics, practitioners and governmental agencies as a panacea for subsidiary managers as they attempt to sustain and grow their subsidiaries. The research question that underpins this works relates to the transposition of the concept of entrepreneurship into large nature business units of multinational corporations (MNC). Drawing on four case studies of subsidiary managers who invoke the discourse of entrepreneurship to make sense of their managerial behaviour, this study examines the difference between entrepreneurship and subsidiary entrepreneurship. There are two key findings. Firstly subsidiary entrepreneurship is markedly different from entrepreneurship, as it is classically understood. It is broader, more complex and encompasses activities such as outsourcing, intra-organisational competition and power politics. Furthermore it draws on the discourse of innovation and change management in large organisations. The second key finding is that subsidiary entrepreneurship is a meaningful concept for subsidiary managers, the academics that research them and the governmental agencies that support them. It pithily identifies and describes the practice of a proactive form of management in subsidiaries. In doing so it has become a compelling tool for managers and governmental agencies as they seek to sustain and develop subsidiaries.