Matthias Kipping and Christopher Wright
This article reviews existing research on consultants in global and national contexts. It refers to a framework that aims to connect the broader literatures on convergence and divergence. This framework introduces a model that differentiates three effects shaping the result of this dichotomy, namely the ‘system effect’, the ‘societal effect’, and the global ‘dominance effect’. The next section explains why this framework is useful in studying consultants in their broader context. This article ends with a summary of the research and identifies open questions in relation to the three dimensions identified within the framework.
Development and exploitation of personal and organizational ties to the constituent parts of public authorities constitute a crucial strategy of emerging market firms. While studies of corporate political ties have generated a large body of literature, a systematic overview of this topic in the emerging market context is surprisingly lacking. This chapter identifies and highlights the latest research endeavors by management scholars to better understand how political ties influence firm outcomes. First, the chapter examines the mechanisms through which political actors and focal firms generate and appropriate relational rents. It then focuses on two key interrelationships between political ties and firm-level contingencies, respectively: (1) firms’ market-based capabilities and strategies, and (2) strategic corporate social responsibility activities. Finally, the chapter investigates how the interplay of sociopolitical institutions and political ties shapes corporate outcomes. It concludes by offering suggestions for future research agendas.
Three potential resolutions exist in the political theory literature to the problem of how to subject the giant firm to political science analysis. Under pluralist theory, the existence of high levels of competition in both economy and polity prevent concentrations of either economic or political power, and thereby limit or even cancel out any undue influence exercised by particular firms. Under neo-corporatist theory, firms exercise their political influence through formally constituted associations. This both maintains a level playing field among firms, at least within the sectors represented by an association, and makes transparent the way in which influence is exercised. In the theory of international political economy (IPE), the firm is treated more seriously, but is seen as a simple economic actor maximizing its profits, exercising political influence only in order to achieve that goal. This last comes closest to confronting issues of political analysis raised by the giant firm, but does so by “importing” economic theory into political analysis.
Geoffrey G. Jones
Globalization is a central issue in business history. The radical shrinking of distance that began in the nineteenth century, but which had a much-longer history, transformed the business of firms and entrepreneurs, and the world in which they operated. By the twenty-first century, few firms anywhere in the world, even small enterprises, were unaffected by some aspect of globalization, while large corporations were at the heart of the process. Until recently, much of the business-history literature on globalization was focused on the history of multinationals. There are many literature reviews on this domain. This literature is now being explicitly integrated within the history of globalization. This article extends this approach by focusing on the contribution of business historians to understanding the history of globalization. It suggests that as global perspectives progressively replace national ones, new research agendas and methodologies will need to be employed.
This article focuses on the roles innovation and information technology play in the multinational enterprise. In recent years there has been a steady expansion in the literature that relates the internationalization of production to the development and transfer of technology by multinational enterprises (MNEs). It is a literature that can be dated back at least to John Dunning's (1958) seminal study of the impact of US MNEs upon UK technology and productivity, and Ray Vernon's (1966) development of the product cycle model (PCM) as an explanation of the technological dynamism associated with the growth of US foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.
Alan M. Rugman and Alain Verbeke
This article reviews and integrates representative literature on the exceptionally broad topic of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and public policy. It considers the literature on MNEs and public policy as it has emerged since 1970 and makes projections ahead to the relevance of this literature for the year 2020, which is the target date for the members of the Asian-Pacific Economic Community (APEC) to realize full trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) liberalization. Such liberalization has already been implemented in the European Union, and has been started in NAFTA and Mercosur. Three approaches to analysis of MNEs and public policy can be adopted. First is a ‘normative’ approach; second is a ‘behavioural’ approach to public policy; and third is a resource-based approach to the firm. This third approach, adopted in this article, provides insight into the managerial aspects of the firm-level strategy process.
The article is organized as follows. The first section provides some background on the economies of Africa, a short discussion on the causes of poverty, and a description of the informal sector. This is followed by a relatively detailed description of the South African pension system. Apart from the author's familiarity with South Africa, its subsistence and informal sectors have much in common with the rest of Africa, while both its public and private sectors provide a number of models for potential development. Its policy makers and entrepreneurs have a growing influence on other African countries, particularly in southern Africa. The article then extends the description to other African countries. A final section also raises some research questions.
Over the past decades, new types of co-operatives with declared social goals have emerged in several countries in and outside Europe. Their development is above all connected to the engagement of co-operatives in the supply of general-interest services, which are carried out beyond the ‘boundaries’ of the co-ops’ membership, undermining the traditional model of co-operatives based on a single stakeholding system and on identifying members and users, and being ready to have additional bearers of interests sharing the duties and benefits of the organization. Drawing on selected country studies, this chapter focuses on new types of co-operatives with declared social goals, often turning into important providers of welfare and general-interest services and facilitators of work integration, which contribute to local development significantly. Selected countries where co-operatives have institutionalized their concern for community so as to pursue explicit general interest aims include Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, and South Korea.
Starting from the 1970s, some co-operatives distinguished themselves for their interest in producing social services and for their social aims. They emerged in order to answer new needs arising in society, and specifically the difficulties faced by welfare systems. Co-operatives started to assume a new role as welfare providers and suppliers of general-interest services and work integration of disadvantaged people. This new co-operative form first emerged in Italy during the 1980s as a bottom-up phenomenon. The first regulation on social co-operatives was enacted in Italy by Law 381/1991. This chapter illustrates the emergence, the evolution, and the most recent trends of Italian social co-operation in order to define the main traits that helped social co-operatives become a successful organizational form in the provision of welfare services. This chapter also contributes to evaluating the added value of this co-operative form in the socio-economic context.
Stephen J. Kobrin
This article is concerned with only one aspect of the vast literature on MNE–state relations: the impact of the MNE on sovereignty, autonomy, and control. It argues that the mainstream literature of the sovereignty at bay era did not predict the end of the nation-state or conclude that sovereignty is critically compromised either in theory or practice. In fact, while the terms ‘sovereignty’, autonomy', and ‘control’ appear frequently in these discussions, they are rarely defined or even used precisely. At the end of the day MNEs are international or cross-border entities which are of the existing inter-state system firmly rooted in national territorial jurisdiction. The problems posed by the traditional MNE for both states and the inter-state system tend to involve issues of jurisdictional asymmetry, jurisdictional overlap and control, rather than sovereignty in its formal sense. The hierarchical or Fordist structure of the traditional MNE reinforces the core values of the modern international political system: state sovereignty and mutually exclusive territoriality.