Global collaboration in knowledge intensive firms: The role of activity configurations

Katja Maria Hydle, David M. Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper discusses how transnational knowledge intensive firms manage complexity across multiple locations, integrating various functional specializations and catering to multifaceted customer demands. Practice theory is used to help us understand collaboration among experts across national borders. By exploring what experts do and analyzing their practices transnationally, different configurations to provide services were found. In total, six configuration types are identified: bilateral, trilateral, chain, star, network and co-location. These configurations differently relate to three interdependent axes: coordinated actions, interaction modes and spatial dimensions. The configurations expose the relevant integrative and responsive settings. The paper contributes to the international organization literature by extending, elaborating and providing examples of transnationality; and to practice theory by exposing shapes and qualitative complexity of transnational collaboration and service provision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-535
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Management and Organization
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • activity configurations
  • collaboration
  • knowledge intensive firms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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