The Future of the Multinational Enterprise in retrospect and in prospect
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We are sometimes asked how The Future of the Multinational Enterprise came to be written, and whether we think that a similar book could be written today. It is always difficult to be objective about your own work, but we doubt that a similar book could appear today. This is not because there is a dearth of talent, or because all the important issues have been resolved. It is simply that the academic environment in which research in international businesses is carried out has fundamentally changed.
Political salience. The Future was written at a time of great debates in international political economy. Multinationals stood accused of global hegemony. There were strident calls for the ‘American challenge’ to European industry to be repelled (Servan-Schreiber, 1968). Foreign investment in Third World countries was leading to ‘uneven development’. Technology was overpriced. A conspiracy of oligopolistic firms was holding consumers and workers to ransom. What nonsense, you might say. But...
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