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The Multinational Enterprise

Theory and History

Mark Casson

This book summarises Mark Casson’s recent research on the multinational enterprise. This work is firmly rooted in history and examines the evolution of the internalisation theory of the multinational enterprise over the past forty years and, in the light of this, considers its potential for further development. The book also explores internationalisation theory in respect to marketing and brands, the supply chain, risk management as well as methodology.
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Peter Buckley and Mark Casson

Introducing marketing explicitly into the internalization theory of the multinational enterprise considerably extends the power of the theory. In particular, it enables a comparison of marketing-led and technology-led multinationals, and highlights the benefits of collaboration between them. It facilitates the analysis of outsourcing, and in particular of R & D. It highlights the importance to marketing-led firms of owning product rather than facilities. The analysis addresses key issues relating to ‘hollow firms’, ‘flagship firms’ and the ‘global factory’.

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Introduction

Networked Multinational Enterprises in the Modern Global Economy

Peter J. Buckley

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Mark Casson, Lynda Porter and Nigel Wadeson

Internalization theory is usually applied at the firm level to analyse FDI, licensing and subcontracting, but this chapter extends it to the industry level. It synthesizes internalization theory and oligopoly theory. It analyses a global industry where firms innovate competitively, and freely enter and exit the industry. It presents a formal model that highlights the interdependencies between rival firms. Each firm responds to its rivals by jointly optimizing production and innovation through interdependent ownership and location decisions. The competitive outcome determines which firms serve which markets, which firms enter or exit the industry, and the internalization strategy of each firm.

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Teresa da Silva Lopes and Mark Casson

This chapter focuses on the protection and counter-imitation strategies British multinationals used to defend the reputation of their brands globally in the period 1870–1929, and shows how crucial these strategies were in their survival and success. Despite new trademark legislation in the 1880s, enforcement of trademarks remained expensive, and many firms preferred negotiation to prosecution. Many imitators were based in the newly industrializing countries of the time – the United States, Germany and Japan. Imitators were often part of British export supply chains, as licensees, franchisees or wholesalers. British firms responded by lobbying governments, appointing local agents to provide intelligence, and collaborating with other firms.

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The Governance of the Global Factory: Location and Control of World Economic Activity

Networked Multinational Enterprises in the Modern Global Economy

Peter J. Buckley and Roger Strange

Recent years have witnessed major changes in the global location of economic activity, with the emerging economies assuming greater shares relative to the advanced economies. These developments have led many authors to refer to the idea of the global factory. But little attention has been given to who has control over the geographically dispersed activities—or, to put it another way, about the governance of the global factory. Have the changes in the global location of economic activity come about primarily through the growth of locally owned firms in the emerging economies, or through increased FDI by MNEs from the advanced economies, or through the proliferation of outsourcing arrangements coordinated by firms in the advanced economies? These control/governance issues have profound implications for the capture of the profits/rents earned in global value chains, and hence for the global distribution of income. This paper explores these issues, and considers who has benefited most from the contemporary phase of globalization.

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Global Interfirm Networks: The Division of Entrepreneurial Labor Between MNEs and SMEs

Networked Multinational Enterprises in the Modern Global Economy

Peter J. Buckley and Shameen Prashantham

We advance a multifaceted and spatially anchored account of the who, the how, and the where of global interfirm networks through our novel conceptualization of the division of entrepreneurial labor between multinational enterprises (MNEs) and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The capability dimension pertains to the differential capability sets of SMEs and MNEs in exploration and exploitation, repsectively (the who). The connectivity dimension posits network orchestration/participation and dialogue as differentially addressing the distinct facets of interdependence–viz., mutual dependence and power imbalance, respectively (the how). The contextuality dimension concerns the differential approaches adopted in advanced versus emerging economies (the where).

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The Global Factory

Networked Multinational Enterprises in the Modern Global Economy

Peter J. Buckley

This key new book synthesises Peter Buckley's work on ‘the global factory’ – the modern networked multinational enterprise. The role of interfirm networks, entrepreneurship and cooperation in the creation and management of global factories leads to a discussion of their governance, internal knowledge transfer strategies and performance, including their role in potentially combating societal failures. Emerging country multinationals are examined as a special case of global factories with a focus on Indian and Chinese multinationals, their involvement in tax havens and offshore financial centres, the performance and processes of their acquisition strategies – all seen as key aspects of globalisation.
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Mark Casson

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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Foreword

Networked Multinational Enterprises in the Modern Global Economy

Peter J. Buckley