A Business Network View
The underlying theme of this book is that business relationships and networks of relationships are crucially important to the management and development of the multinational firm. Chapters 3 and 4 thus analysed the development of business relationships and the business network in our case-study firm, Danke. The development of Danke’s network even included business relationships across borders. In Chapter 5 we looked at internationalization from our business network perspective. In Chapters 6 and Chapter 7 the focus shifts more specifically to the MNC, which is an organization that includes business firms in at least two countries. In Chapter 6 we discuss three dimensions of internationalization of the MNC: internationalization through extended ownership, external business networks, or corporate networks. These dimensions are illustrated by the development of Danke’s parent company Aspa. THE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION IN A NETWORK SETTING In Chapter 2 we defined three concepts: the business firm, business relationships and business networks. With these in mind we further proposed that defining the operations of a business firm as ‘international’ is a matter of perspective. A business firm may, in itself, be rooted in a particular country. But the important business relationships that constitute its business network may be more or less international, in the sense of cutting across country borders. As the network of a business firm is a subjectively defined phenomenon without distinct limits, it is impossible to draw a definite line between networks that are international and those that are not. Even if a firm’s direct relationships are...
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