The Global Factory
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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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Chapter 6: Adam Smith's theory of knowledge and international business theory and practice

Networked Multinational Enterprises in the Modern Global Economy

Peter J. Buckley


This paper demonstrates that Adam Smith's insights and reasoning can improve the theory of international business, and shed some light on its academic practices. Smith was a system builder; his theory of knowledge underpinned his entire oeuvre, and understanding his systematic approach can help current international business to achieve a similarly coherent body of theory. Smith's approach sheds direct light on decision-making in multinational enterprises, and on cultural distance (the "liability of foreignness"). Combining these two areas yields new Smithian insights into multinational enterprises from emerging countries.

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