Research and development (R&D) employees are important human resources for multinational corporations (MNCs) as they are the driving force behind the advancement of innovative ideas and products. International assignments of these employees can be a unique way to upgrade their expertise; allowing them to effectively recombine their unique human resources to progress existing knowledge and advance new ones. This study aims to investigate the effect of the roles of R&D laboratories in which these employees work on the international assignments they undertake. We categorise R&D laboratory roles into those of the support laboratory, the locally integrated laboratory and the internationally interdependent laboratory. Based on the theory of resource recombinations, we hypothesise that R&D employees in support laboratories are not likely to assume international assignments, whereas those in locally integrated and internationally interdependent laboratories are likely to assume international assignments. The empirical evidence, which draws from research conducted on 559 professionals in 66 MNC subsidiaries based in Greece, provides support to our hypotheses. The resource recombinations theory that extends the resource based view can effectively illuminate the international assignment field. Also, research may provide more emphasis on the close work context of R&D scientists rather than analyse their demographic characteristics, the latter being the focus of scholarly practice hitherto.
- research and development
- multinational corporations