Regional headquarters - to be, or not to be? A longitudinal study of headquarters status loss and retention

Perttu Kähäri, Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Iiris Hilvo, Rebecca Piekkari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


What explains the survival or demise of a HQ unit? In this paper we ask that question in the context of regional headquarters (RHQ), and report the results of a longitudinal study of 375 RHQ units in Finland between 1998 and 2010. We find two types of RHQ life cycles: those with a temporal span and those with an indefinite term. The temporal span life cycle is typical to RHQ with an entrepreneurial role. While previously related to Asian RHQ, our data suggest it is equally relevant in Europe. Our findings indicate the indefinite term life cycle carries a pattern of ‘to those that hath, to them shall be given’: the bigger the unit, the longer it has held RHQ status, and the better established this status, the less likely the unit is to lose it. Our findings are thus in sharp contrast with earlier research on RHQ. Furthermore, the majority of RHQ status loss is not caused by natural evolution, but is rather due to internal reorganization, that over time brings the RHQ out of sync with the needs of the units subordinated to it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of International Business Annual Meeting (AIB), Nagoya, Japan, June 24-28,2011
EditorsShige Makino, Tunga Kiyak
PublisherAcademy of International Business
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication

Publication series

PublisherAcademy of International Business (AIB)
ISSN (Print)2078-4430
ISSN (Electronic)2078-0435


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