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Multinational Corporation

Conglomerate, Transnational Corporations (TNCs), McWorld

A multinational corporation is a company which has operations in more than one nation. The development of multinational corporations has challenged the belief of liberal ideology that economic power can be counterbalanced by political power.

As multinational corporations have less dependence on a national market and can adopt practices which minimize the effect of national policies they move outside the reach of any political system.

For a long time research on multinational corporations (MNCs) was dominated by a very critical assessment.

But recently social scientists seem to have changed their view of the multinational corporation; they now have a much more positive opinion of multinational corporation.

This raises the question whether we are, now that the multinational company is becoming the most powerful economic actor, on the way to an economic order in which there are no losers and only winners.

A Strategic Model for Multinational Corporation Social Responsibility in the Third World By Jay L. Laughlin, and Mohammad Badrul Ahsan - Frequent criticism of multinational corporation social responsibility is contrasted with the "Friedman Doctrine," which maintains that the social responsibility of business is to increase profits. A general framework recognizing that the long-range purpose of exchange is the mutual satisfaction of the interests of all parties leads to a discussion of concepts from Blau's exchange structuralism. A structural model for enhancing multinational corporation strategy for socially responsible exchange behavior with developing nations is introduced.

The Developing Countries, Development, and the Multinational Corporation 
Richard D. Robinson - The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 403, No. 1, 67-79 (1972)
The point of departure is an explicit discussion of the nature of nationalism in terms of resource allocational priorities. For a variety of reasons the priorities differ from nation to nation. In that the penetration by an alien firm always requires the commitment of local resources, conflict is possible. The multinational corporation's overall profit-maximizing objective pushes in the direction of centralizing control external to the host country, which in fact also causes conflict. It is suggested that a time limit on foreign ownership may be an appropriate response, as may be a higher level of sophistication with respect to environmental analysis on the part of the foreign multinational corporation. Given the instabilities built into the multinational corporation, two possible future scenarios are seen: (1) the transnational firm, a multinational corporation that is owned and managed multinationally, and (2) the multinational or transnational association, a corporation linked internationally essentially by contract.

The Use of the Multinational Corporation as a Research Context 
Kendall Roth, Tatiana Kostova, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA 
Journal of Management, Vol. 29, No. 6, (2003)
The multinational corporation (MNC) has been increasingly used as a context for conceptual and empirical work. Based on a review of several leading management journals, we identify three main purposes for which the multinational corporation has been employed: (1) study of multinational corporation-specific phenomena; (2) validation and expansion of existing theories; and (3) development of new theories. We suggest that the latter purpose represents the highest potential contribution of multinational corporation research, yet it is the least utilized so far. We then offer ideas of how to increase the contribution of multinational corporation research through capturing the conceptual distinctiveness of the context.

Strategic Bridging: A Role for the Multinational Corporation in Third World Development 
Sanjay Sharma, Harrie Vredenburg, University of Calgary, Frances Westley, McGill University 
The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 30, No. 4, 458-476 (1994)
The traditional lending paradigms adopted by international development funding agencies have not been very successful in fostering genuine economic development at the grassroots level in developing Third World countries. Despite good intentions on the part of these multinational corporations, they sometimes lack perspectives on the unique cultural and ecological conditions affecting development in these countries. Multinational corporations with a more permanent presence and long-term commitment of resources in these countries have egoistic interests in long-term relationship building with stakeholders in host Third World countries. Collaboration theory and the concept of strategic bridging as a unique form of collaboration are used as frameworks to analyze a case study involving the role of a multinational corporation as an unofficial strategic bridge between an international development bank and a state government in a West African country to bring about a successful outcome to an infrastructural funds lending exercise.

Management Styles Within a Multinational Corporation: A Five Country Comparative Study - Cynthia Pavett, Tom Morris, School of Business Administration, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. - Human Relations, Vol. 48, No.10 (1995)
This study examines participatory management systems and productivity in similar plants located in five different countries. Likert's System 4 theory was used as a tool to measure the nature and extent of participation. All five plants were engaged in identical operations that were designed and implemented by its U.S.-based owner. Each of the plants, however, was under the direction of host nationals. Data demonstrated that the degree of participation differed widely between the Italian, Mexican, Spanish, American, and English plants.

The Multinational Corporation Today - PAUL BRACKEN, Yale School of Management 
Yale SOM Working Paper No. OB-06, PM-05, OL-19 
Abstract: The core focus on multinational corporations is changing. Originally it focused on power relations between it and the nation state. For the past decade this focus has shifted to the efficiency of the multinational corporations. Today it is shifting again, back to power relationships. Four key areas define research on the multinational corporations: its relationship to globalization; the multinational corporations as a learning engine; the rise of non-western multinational corporations; and the growing importance of political analysis and risk assessment as a core competence within the multinational corporation itself.

The Visible Hand of the Multinational Corporation. A Review
HELGA HERNES, Institute of Sociology, University of Bergen, Norway, Institute of Sociology, University of Bergen, Norway
European Journal of Political Research 1 (3), 265–291.
This article is a taxonomy of a new field of interest to political scientists, namely the study of multinational corporations as political actors on the local, national and international level. It describes the interests and activities of the four major actors involved: parent companies, subsidiaries, investor countries, and host countries. The theoretical challenges presented by the multinational corporations are related in part to their dual character as economic and political actors, and in part to the fact that they integrate activities among various levels of political organization, thus cutting across traditional divisions of scholarly disciplines such as local, comparative and international politics, as well as economics, international business, and industrial relations.

John Kenneth Galbraith and the Multinational Corporation
Stephen Dunn, Abstract: Increasingly, economists are concerned with the power and efficiency of the modern corporation. Many theories, largely based in neoclassical economics, have been advanced to explain the large corporation and the role of management. But the author notes that the theories of John Kenneth Galbraith, though eclipsed, deserve to be rehabilitated. He summarizes these contributions and emphasizes Galbraith's work on the multinational corporation to show its relevance to the globalization debate.

The Brave New World Of The Multinational Corporation - Gerd Schienstock, International Sociology, Vol. 7, No. 4, 461-479 (1992) 1992 International Sociological Association. For a long time research on multinational corporations (MNCs) was dominated by a very critical assessment. But recently social scientists seem to have changed their view of the multinational corporation; they now have a much more positive opinion of this institution. The article deals with three aspects of multinational corporations: forms of governance, organisational strategies and industrial relations.