Theories and Paradigms of International Business Activity
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Theories and Paradigms of International Business Activity

The Selected Essays of John H. Dunning, Volume I

John H. Dunning

This volume contains a selection of John Dunning’s best known and highly acclaimed writings on the theory of international business activity. Spanning more than three decades, the 16 contributions trace the evolution of his thoughts and ideas as an economist, from his first article on the determinants of international production, published in 1973, to his most recent essay on relational assets, networks and global business activity, completed in 2002.
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Chapter 15: The Challenge of Electronic Markets for International Business Theory

The Selected Essays of John H. Dunning, Volume I

John H. Dunning


* 1. INTRODUCTION The study and research of International Business and E-commerce has both many similarities and some differences. E-commerce touches many of the same disciplines as International Business (IB) (Boddewyn and Iyer, 1999), such as economics, political science, law, sociology, and psychology; as well as several functional or professional areas, such as management, marketing, and finance, etc., which apply concepts, models and variables derived from these disciplines. We have observed how the network properties of the Internet and E-commerce have encouraged International Business, but not necessarily the amount and internal relatedness of foreign direct investment associated with business models of the mid-1990s (Beck et al., 2000). Similar to Vernon’s (1994) cited difficulties in truly understanding the structures, motivations and strategies of multinational enterprises, we are once again confronted with these problems with the emergence of global E-commerce companies, but now have much less history to guide us. Much of the earlier research in E-commerce focused on descriptive case studies, recounting what happened and why (Netscape, Yahoo, etc.), particularly in the US market, rather than taking the lead from the more careful theoretical analysis of Bartlett and Ghoshal (1993) in their evaluation of the major organisation changes then being introduced in such MNEs as ABB. We must attempt to introduce the IB discipline and the eclectic analytic process to analyse the new realities of globally networked businesses. This requires a basic understanding of the reality of business in the new economy and a great deal of imagination necessary to develop creative...

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