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Keywords:

  • headquarters' attention;
  • expatriates;
  • growth;
  • MNE;
  • instrumental variables

We explore the circumstances under which expatriates can help their host-subsidiary capture headquarters' attention. Our central contention is that expatriates will be particularly helpful in situations where a subsidiary or its market is showing signs of growth, allowing headquarters to recognize information signaling opportunities for the firm that could otherwise go unnoticed. We test this contention using a robust instrumental variable approach in a single multinational enterprise. Our results show that subsidiaries hosting expatriates and experiencing growth at the subsidiary or market level have a higher probability of capturing headquarters' attention. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.