Chapter 1: The Future of the Multinational Enterprise in historical perspective
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This chapter is based on an unpublished paper presented at a plenary session on 40 years of internalization theory at a conference in Vienna  in December 2016. It examines the evolution of the internalization theory of the multinational enterprise over the past 40 years and, in the light of this, considers its potential for further development. The existing theory represents a synthesis of different strands of research, underpinned by a common set of economic principles. Its focus is on the global economy, and a representative global industry, rather than just the individual firm. The chapter shows how the existing theory can be extended to fulfil the ultimate ambition of early theorists, which was to analyse the boundaries of firms in an oligopolistic global industry.

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