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Abstract

Given the strategic importance of achieving global integration and worldwide learning for most multinational enterprises (MNEs), this article focuses on “shared vision” as a critical mechanism for realizing both goals. Specifically, this paper investigates the impact of three types of control mechanisms—formal (headquarters imposed rules and decisions), personal (the presence of expatriates), and social (social interaction among subunits) control—on building shared vision in subsidiaries and examines the subsequent impact of having shared vision on subsidiary learning. Overall, data from 99 subsidiaries located in the United States and headquartered either in Europe or Japan show that personal and social mechanisms of control are effective in building shared vision whereas formal control mechanisms have no impact. Results also support a significant relationship between shared vision and subsidiary learning. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.