Determinants of Strategic HR Capabilities in MNC Subsidiaries


Kristiina Mäkelä, Aalto University, PO Box 21210, 00076 Aalto, Finland (


Given the established association between organizational capabilities and organizational performance, shedding light on the determinants of capabilities remains a priority. We seek to narrow this research gap by providing empirical evidence concerning the influence of individual-level determinants of strategic HR capabilities in subsidiaries of multinational corporations (MNCs). More specifically, we focus on two different conditions of individual action that function as microfoundations for organizational level strategic HR capabilities: the experience of subsidiary HR managers; and the social capital between managers working with HR issues in the subsidiary and those in the corporate HR function. Analysis of quantitative data gathered from 123 subsidiaries of 12 Nordic MNCs finds significant relationships between several microfoundations and the development of strategic HR capabilities in MNC subsidiaries.