Absorptive capacity in foreign subsidiaries: The effects of language-sensitive recruitment, language training, and interunit knowledge transfer
Are multinational corporations able to enhance the development of absorptive capacity in foreign subsidiaries through language-oriented human resource management (HRM) practices? Taking into account that a shared language enhances absorptive capacity and that many multinational corporations are multilingual entities, this question is relevant but given little focused attention in international business research. In this paper, we hypothesize that two language-oriented HRM practices - language-sensitive recruitment and language training - enhance absorptive capacity in foreign subsidiaries. In addition, we hypothesize that interunit knowledge transfer partially mediates the positive relationship between these language-oriented HRM practices and absorptive capacity. Analyses of survey data derived at three points in time from 574 foreign subsidiary units in Japan provide support for these hypotheses.