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This article examines how multinational corporations (MNCs) shape institutional conditions in emerging economies to secure access to high-skilled, yet lower-cost science and engineering talent. Based on two in-depth case studies of engineering offshoring projects of German automotive suppliers in Romania and China we analyze how MNCs engage in ‘active embedding’ by aligning local institutional conditions with global offshoring strategies and operational needs. MNCs thereby contribute to the structuration of field relations and practices of sourcing knowledge-intensive work from globally dispersed locations.Our findings stress the importance of institutional processes across geographic boundaries that regulate and get shaped by MNC activities.



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