New Challenges for International Business Research
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New Challenges for International Business Research

Back to the Future

John H. Dunning

In this final collection of his essays, John Dunning looks back on more than 40 years of research in international business (IB), whilst at the same time considering possibilities for the future. This book includes fifteen updated chapters, many of which have not been widely accessible to the IB community until now. It provides a fascinating insight into the evolution of Professor Dunning’s thinking on some of the most important issues in the contemporary global economy, from the role of institutions in development to the moral challenges of global capitalism. Including some personal reflections, this compelling collection provides a unique perspective on the intellectual contribution from one of the field’s greatest scholars.
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Chapter 9: FDI, Globalisation and Development: Some Implications for the Korean Economy and Korean Firms

John H. Dunning


1. INTRODUCTION The main task of this chapter is to summarise the current state of scholarly thinking on the extent to which, and the ways in which, the globalisation of economic activity is affecting our understanding about the causes and effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) by multinational enterprises (MNEs) and the competitiveness of Korean firms. Inevitably, because of space limitations, we shall have to be very selective in the issues we cover. That being said, our primary focus will be on identifying general trends and their policy implications – rather than on those uniquely relevant to Korean firms and policy makers. In doing so, we shall highlight the main thrust and conclusions of scholarly research on four issues. First, we shall identify some of the critical characteristics of our contemporary world economy. Second we shall describe the interface between, and offer some facts about, globalisation, development and FDI. Third, we shall present some data on the competitiveness of the Korean economy and of Korean firms. Fourth, in the light of these findings, we shall offer some suggestions of what, to our mind, are the critical components of FDI policy which the Korean – and, for that matter, most other governments – need to focus on in these early years of the 21st century if they wish to advance their various economic and social agenda. 2. THE EVOLVING WORLD SCENARIO We live in a world characterised by the geographical spread of market based economic democracy, tempered to some degree or other by the...

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