Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are increasingly shifting from global or multinational strategies towards a transnational strategy (Barlett & Ghoshal 1989), as intense competition drives MNEs to simultaneously pursue scale, responsiveness, and innovation. Such a shift has important implications for IT management. How can IT in MNEs be managed to enable all three objectives? We draw on ambidexterity literature, which suggests that separate structures and initiatives are needed for each objective, and that governance is critical in coordinating and integrating across these distinct initiatives. By analyzing a set of 15 published cases on global IT management, we found that these MNEs deployed distinct architectural and structural initiatives to achieve IT scale, responsiveness and innovation. We also noted the common global IT governance structures and processes instituted to knit these distinct initiatives together. Our theorizing and empirical findings led us to propose a framework for global IT management, as well as to identify the critical gaps for future research.


Multinational Enterprises, Transnational Enterprises, Global IT Management


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Full paper