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Competition, Monopoly and Corporate Governance

Essays in Honour of Keith Cowling

Edited by Michael Waterson

Competition, Monopoly and Corporate Governance covers three broad themes, each associated with a particular strand of Keith Cowling’s own writings in industrial economics and each represented by four specially commissioned papers.
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Chapter 4: Internationalism and Economic Development: Transnational Corporations, Small Firm Networking and Universities

Roger Sugden


4. Internationalism and economic development: transnational corporations, small firm networking and universities Roger Sugden 1. INTRODUCTION A frequently advocated policy for economic development relies on ‘free markets’ and emphasises a prominent role for large, typically transnational corporations. This approach leads to ‘strategic failures’, production governed in narrow self-interest with adverse consequences for societies. In contrast, an alternative suggests that strategic decision making in production be characterised by economic democracy, the prospect for which requires an analysis of certain sorts of clusters and networks. Underlying these alternatives is a choice between different forms of internationalism. One is based on economic activity characterised by a transverse structure, a mere crossing of nations without intending to meet the aims and objectives of the peoples of particular localities. The other is founded on a multinational perspective, a coming together based on and respecting different desires, experiences, histories, traditions, cultures and competencies. This chapter illustrates these possibilities in the context of strategies for internationalisation in a particular sector – education, more specifically universities. Two models are considered. The first is based upon copying and serving large corporations. It is argued that adoption of this approach would imply significant failures in the educational process. In the extreme, it would result in a world with a small number of first-tier universities that fail to serve the interests of the communities and societies in which they operate. The second is a type of networking, a socalled multinational web. This draws on the behaviour of some...

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