Devolvement of HRM and perceived performance within multinational corporations (MNCs)

Maura Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the process of delivery of HR practices within Multinational Companies (MNCs). Neo-institutional, resource-based and agency theories are used to explore whether devolvement of HR to line managers is attempted in MNCs. Issues of agency between HR specialists and line managers are found to be a significant barrier to devolving HR within the sample organisations. A higher level of divergence in perception about the delivery and resourcing of devolvement is found to be negatively correlated with perceived subsidiary performance. The analysis is based on a multi-respondent and a multi-unit method which enables comparisons between HR specialists and line managers (over 700 respondents) and comparisons between the domestic and foreign subsidiaries (over 140 organisations and 429 units). The interaction of institutional resource-based and agency factors is extremely complex and requires further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-127
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Journal of International Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • HRD devolvement
  • Human resource management
  • Perceived subsidiary performance
  • Multi-respondent analysis
  • MNCs
  • Multinational corporations
  • Europe
  • Neo-institutional theory
  • Resource-based view
  • RBV
  • Agency theory
  • Line managers
  • Foreign subsidiaries
  • Domestic subsidiaries


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