Economics of International Business

Economics of International Business

A New Research Agenda

Mark Casson

Economics of International Business sets out a new agenda for international business research. Mark Casson asserts that it is time to move the subject on from sterile debates about transaction cost economies and resource-based theories of the firm. Instead of focusing on the individual firm, the new agenda focuses on the global systems view of international business. A static view of the firm’s environment is replaced by a dynamic view which highlights the volatility of the international business environment. Coping with volatility requires entrepreneurial skills, flexibility and the need to synthesize information on a global basis. To co-ordinate the global system properly, entrepreneurs must co-operate through social networks of trust, as well as competing. Constructing a network of joint ventures, it is argued, is simply not enough.

Preface and Acknowledgements

Mark Casson

Subjects: business and management, international business, research methods in business and management, economics and finance, industrial organisation, international business, research methods, research methods in business and management

Extract

There are several different ways of explaining how this book came to be written and – more important – why it should be read. I could say that it is a manifesto for international business research in the New Millennium. I am sure that some authors will be ‘hyping up’ their books in this way. The truth is, however, that the book would have been written whether there was a New Millennium to celebrate or not. Alternatively, I could say that it is the sequel to my book on The Organization of International Business, published five years ago. That would be half-true. Unfortunately, though, sequels are rarely as good as the originals, as they tend to be produced by people who are running out of fresh ideas. I hope that this isn’t true in the present case, but the reader can judge for themselves. The whole truth is, I think, that I wrote this book for my own benefit, which is possibly one of the worst reasons there is for writing a book. Certainly, I have enjoyed writing the book – apart from the tedious though essential task of polishing up the final drafts and chasing up missing references. Writing is a form of therapy, as far as I am concerned – though not so far as my family are concerned, who find that it only exaggerates my antisocial tendencies. I would not wish to claim, however, as one rather arrogant economist once did, that ‘I wrote this book because I like writing...