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Department of Business and Management

David Schulzmann defending his PhD thesis

David Schulzmann defended his PhD

David Schulzmann from International Business Center (IBC) at Department of Business and Management defended his thesis “R&D Subsidiary of Western MNEs in China: Internal Knowledge Sharing Impacts on the Subsidiary Mandate Evolution”.

The subject of David’s lecture at the defence, which took place May 13, was: People, Organisational Culture and National Culture – the Puzzle behind Subsidiary Mandate Evolution? – A Reflective Discussion.

Members of the assessment committee were:

  • Dr. Svetla Marinova, Professor, Head of International Business Centre, Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University, Denmark - Chair
  • Dr. Lynda J. Song, Associate Professor, Head of Department of Organization and Human Resources, Renmin Business School, Renmin University, China
  • Dr. Alexander Brem, Professor, Chair of Technology Management at Friedrich-Alexander University – Erlangen, Nuremberg, Germany


Summary of the thesis

As China is transforming into a leading global player within innovation, many Western multinational enterprises (MNEs) try to capture this opportunity and therefore make strategic adjustments in their research and development (R&D) units in China. These adjustments are subject to new R&D roles that require global integration to the corporate network and increased environmental embeddedness. However, the literature is not inclusive on what triggers a successful strategic adjustment in order to utilize the Chinese location to its advantage.

This PhD project sheds light on this presently unexplored area and provides insights into how knowledge sharing is a key antecedent to enable Western R&D subsidiary mandate evolution in China. The study integrates 75 interviews from two leading Western R&D subsidiaries in China and focuses on internal knowledge sharing challenges that undermined integration, the influence of R&D staffs’ personal characteristics to knowledge sharing, and subsidiary capability building through environmental embeddedness.


Further information

David Schulzmann
Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University
Phone: +45 9940 2695
Email: schulzmann@business.aau.dk