The Quest for Innovation and Sustainability
Innovation, Co-operation and Development series
Edited by Wilfred Dolfsma, Geert Duysters and Ionara Costa
Ionara Costa, Wilfred Dolfsma and Geert Duysters MULTINATIONALS For long periods of time, in both policy as well as scholarly circles, multinational corporations were approached with quite a bit of suspicion, especially in relation to the effects of their behaviour for developing countries. With their quintessential reach into many different countries, multinationals can tap into a broad set of resources. As a consequence, their intentions were questioned, their workings were deemed inherently hurtful to developing countries, and especially to the very poor living there, and they were believed to offer goods and services that hurt rather than benefit the interests of consumers in the countries hosting their subsidiaries. Whether or not these claims ever held water, and despite the fact that some still believe these claims hold true, the situation seems to have changed in recent times. Especially in recent years, the contribution of multinational enterprises is not just noticeable through international production activities or in the impact of their activities on such macroeconomic variables as financial flows and trade. Multinationals are now seen as being potentially able to contribute to the economic as well as technological development, particularly of those developing and emerging economies. The explanations for such a dramatic change are to be found in the transformations of the world economy over the last 20 years or so, in the evolution of the multinationals themselves, and in how these two movements interact with one another. Innovation is one of the main, if not the most, important sources of...