A Taxonomy of Potential Contributions of the Host Country National Local Liaison Role in Global Knowledge Management

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Abstract

This article builds on the existing conceptualization of multinational corporation (MNC) knowledge management by exploring the critical liaison role played by host country nationals (HCNs), especially those working directly with expatriate managers. We first discuss this proposed HCN local liaison role between expatriate and local employees within theoretical constructs of network theory and absorptive capacity. Then we present a model of five possible important HCNL role componentsÑincluding cultural interpreter, communication manager, information resource broker, talent manager, and internal change agentÑand related specific behavioral functions for each component. We also consider benefits and limitations of this HCN local liaison role, as well as areas for future research to help elucidate and validate this present model of the HCN local liaison role. This model also provides some practical guidance to assist multinational organizations in taking advantage of this potentially valuable liaison role for enhancing performance in host-country operations. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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