Factor Mobility, Agriculture, Environment and Quantitative Studies
Edited by Miroslav N. Jovanović
Chapter 4: Multinational Enterprises and Regional Economic Integration: Rethinking Key Metrics in International Business
Alan M. Rugman and Chang Hoon Oh 1 INTRODUCTION This handbook serves as a useful occasion to take stock of the literature in international business (IB) as it affects international economic integration. We shall examine the nature of regional economic integration achieved by the world’s 500 largest firms, as observed by Rugman (2005). In particular, we demonstrate in this chapter that it is necessary to rethink aspects of the linkage between IB theory and some of the prevailing empirical metrics used in the field. It is argued that there is an unrecognised disparity between country-level theories of foreign direct investment (FDI) and firm-level data on multinationality and performance. We approach this difficult task from the perspective of Karl Popper (1959). We believe that good theory will be developed only by a deductive approach which builds upon the relevant empirical evidence. Therefore, in order to review and analyse IB theories, and to develop new aspects of IB theories, we need to address the related empirical literature on a parallel plane in order to detect complementarities between theory and empirical work. This chapter is structured as follows. Section 2 examines the role of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in IB research. Section 3 attempts to link IB theory to empirical research. Section 4 addresses theoretical problems with empirical metrics. Section 5 evaluates two metrics of multinationality: scale and scope. Section 6 examines new tests of multinationality. Finally, Section 7 concludes. 2 THE ROLE OF MNEs IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS RESEARCH Although the field of international...
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