The Selected Essays of John H. Dunning, Volume II
Chapter 13: Multinational Enterprises, Industrial Restructuring and Competitiveness: A UK Perspective
Dunning2 04 chap 13 19/7/02 11:21 am Page 340 13. Multinational enterprises, industrial restructuring and competitiveness: a UK perspective* INTRODUCTION Since 1970, the world has experienced a series of events which have had, and are having, a most profound effect on the allocation of economic activity, both between and within countries. Among those of greatest long-term significance are the rising economic stature of some NICs, particularly those from the Far East, and a series of technological breakthroughs, especially in the areas of information and telecommunications, and biotechnology. Of more immediate and pervasive impact has been a deceleration in world economic growth, coupled with a swing to neo-liberal policies of most governments and a more realistic appreciation of the costs and gains of economic interdependence. These events have affected countries differently, according, for example, to their stage of development and economic structure, and to the way in which central authorities have adjusted to them. Most advanced industrial societies have found the repercussions both painful and destabilizing. While we should not minimize the impact of inflation and cyclical unemployment and the supplyoriented managerial policies to combat these, a more powerful impetus to industrial restructuring has been the dramatic cuts in price–cost margins. These, together with new technologies and growing international competition, have caused sweeping reappraisals of product, process and marketing strategies, and the location of production facilities. This has resulted in a good deal of structural unemployment, and has severely tested governments in their adjustment policies. Indeed, it is the...
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