Corporate language proficiency and reverse knowledge transfer in multinational corporations: Interactive effects of communication media richness and commitment to headquarters
While corporate language proficiency provides the ability for employees in foreign subsidiaries to transfer knowledge to headquarters (HQ) in multinational corporations, this topic has received relatively little attention in international management research. In this paper, I link host country national (HCN) employee corporate language proficiency to reverse knowledge transfer. In addition to its direct effect, I draw on media richness theory and related research to hypothesize that communication media richness has a mediating effect between HCN corporate language proficiency and reverse knowledge transfer. As employees also need to be motivated to transfer knowledge to HQ, I draw on ability-motivation frameworks to hypothesize that HCN employee commitment to HQ has a moderating effect between communication media richness and reverse knowledge transfer. Data derived at two points in time from 661 functional departments of foreign subsidiaries in Japan provide support for the direct and interactive effects.