Managing the Embedded Multinational

Managing the Embedded Multinational

A Business Network View

Mats Forsgren, Ulf Holm and Jan Johanson

This book expands the business network view on managerial issues in multinational corporations. Specifically, it scrutinises the importance of a subsidiary’s external and internal business network for its strategic and organizational role within the corporation.

Chapter 6: Three Dimensions of Internationalization

Mats Forsgren, Ulf Holm and Jan Johanson

Subjects: business and management, international business


The underlying theme of this book is that business relationships and networks of relationships are crucially important to the management and development of the multinational firm. Chapters 3 and 4 thus analysed the development of business relationships and the business network in our case-study firm, Danke. The development of Danke’s network even included business relationships across borders. In Chapter 5 we looked at internationalization from our business network perspective. In Chapters 6 and Chapter 7 the focus shifts more specifically to the MNC, which is an organization that includes business firms in at least two countries. In Chapter 6 we discuss three dimensions of internationalization of the MNC: internationalization through extended ownership, external business networks, or corporate networks. These dimensions are illustrated by the development of Danke’s parent company Aspa. THE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION IN A NETWORK SETTING In Chapter 2 we defined three concepts: the business firm, business relationships and business networks. With these in mind we further proposed that defining the operations of a business firm as ‘international’ is a matter of perspective. A business firm may, in itself, be rooted in a particular country. But the important business relationships that constitute its business network may be more or less international, in the sense of cutting across country borders. As the network of a business firm is a subjectively defined phenomenon without distinct limits, it is impossible to draw a definite line between networks that are international and those that are not. Even if a firm’s direct relationships are...

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