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From January 2012 till January 2015, Anne Tempel and Stefan Süß worked with

on the research project “Multinational companies, regional governance and human resource management”, which funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The project focused on the interaction of governance actors and providers of skills and research infrastructures with foreign-owned multinational companies (MNCs) in regions in West and East Germany. It was part of an international research project with comparative studies in Canada, England, Ireland and Spain.

We aimed firstly to investigate how key regional governance actors and providers of skills and research infrastructures engage with MNCs, and how this impacts on MNCs’ regional embeddedness. Second, the effects of this relationship on the supply of and demand for human resources in MNC subsidiaries were explored. We were examining how MNCs’ HR strategies are shaped by the skills available on the regional labor market, and the extent and nature of coordination between regional actors and MNC units. These questions assume great importance given the contemporary dynamics of international competition for investment, where industrial policy has tended to become devolved to regional levels and regions compete for high value-added investment.

The research involved in-depth interviews with regional actors and key MNCs and the analysis of critical incidents in the relationship between them. This was complemented by the social network analysis of the structures of these relations.

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