Back to the Future
1. THE BACKGROUND TO THIS VOLUME Over my scholarly career, I have published papers on foreign direct investment (FDI) and international business (IB) topics in over 60 professional journals, and as chapters in 50 or so monographs. Since several of these are not normally read by mainstream IB scholars, every so often I have sought to reproduce them – appropriately amended and updated – in book form. This volume is the eighth of this kind. In the past, I have attempted to set each collection of essays within the framework of an emerging issue in IB. For example, two of my volumes in the 1980s focused on the new theories on the determinants of Multinational Enterprise (MNE) activity then evolving,1 and another on the increasingly important role played by created assets, and especially innovatory capacity, as a competitive advantage of MNEs. In the early 1990s, I turned my attention to the opening up of – both developed and developing – economies to the forces of globalisation, and its impact on the strategies of MNEs; and also to the increasing importance of service based MNEs. This was followed, in 1997, by a volume entitled Alliance Capitalism and Global Business (London: Routledge), which recognised and explored several new modalities by which IB operations were being conducted. In each of these volumes, I took an historical and analytical approach to the topic being explored, and in so doing discovered that, quite frequently, the germs of new scholarly advances in IB came from economists, organisational theorists and...