Department of Business Development and Technology

Sven Kunisch

The Corporate Headquarters in the Contemporary Corporation: Advancing a Multimarket Firm Perspective

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Markus Menz, Universitat St. Gallen
  • ,
  • Sven Kunisch
  • David J. Collis, Harvard Business School

The corporate headquarters (CHQ) is the central organizational unit in the contemporary corporation and is critical for value creation in the overall firm. Since the early 1960s, a significant body of research on the CHQ has evolved along two separate but related streams. The first stream focuses on the CHQ in the multibusiness firm, whereas the second stream concerns the CHQ in the multinational firm. In this article, we promote a consistent multimarket firm perspective that draws on research in both streams. First, we describe the origins and evolution of CHQ research in each stream and articulate the benefits of a multimarket firm perspective. Second, we integrate the conversations found in the two streams into a schematic framework, review the studies' findings, and establish a shared language. We also propose ways in which scholars in each stream might enrich their work by incorporating some of the theories, methods, and findings of the other stream. Third, we discuss four fundamental inquiries for future research that draw upon the cumulative CHQ research in both streams. Overall, this article informs the study of the CHQ and, thereby, contributes to our understanding of the contemporary corporation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Annals
Pages (from-to)633-714
Number of pages82
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

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