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 14: Perspectives on International Business Scholarship: Fifty-Five Years of Researching and Teaching International Business

John H. Dunning


1 1. THE EARLY YEARS: THE 1950s I remember as if it were yesterday. But, in fact, it was more than a half century ago. I had spent the day – a warm day in July 1951 – watching a cricket match at one of the UK’s prestigious grounds (the Oval in London). But, for most of the time, my mind was racing towards 5.00 p.m. when I was to telephone my tutor (Herbert Tout) at University College, London to hear the results of my undergraduate degree examination. The time duly came, and I was told I had graduated with First Class Honours in Economics. This was not only more than I hoped for, let alone expected; but it effectively sealed the path of my future career. My secondary education, between 1938 and 1942, was spent at John Lyons School in Harrow. However, although it was on the curriculum, my first exposure to Economics did not come until 1946, when I was studying for Part 2 of the Institute of Bankers’ examination. At the time, I was serving in the Royal Navy, and stationed at a naval air station near Colombo in Ceylon (as it was then called). I took a correspondence course with London University, and later well recall typing my notes from the elementary text books of the time (and most especially Frederick Benham’s Economics, and Alec Cairncross’s, Introduction to Economics) on an antiquated typewriter in the Captain’s office, on board a destroyer returning from Ceylon to the UK. Earlier,...

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