Markets to Partnerships and Hierarchies to Coalitions:
Perspectives on the Modern Multinational Corporation
8:00am - 5:00pm
Main Campus, Temple University
many ways, multinational corporations (MNCs) represent the leading
edge in the application of business research and in business practice.
International business as the study of MNCs therefore represents
the state of the art in terms of the study of the business firm.
Transaction cost analysis helped shed light on MNCs’ choice between
markets and hierarchies in the operation of their activities across
the succeeding quarter century, MNCs have continued to evolve to
higher levels of complexity. This intertwined evolution between
theory and practice has unfolded along two broad fronts. The first
is the inter-firm or market perspective, i.e., the analysis of the
firm’s relationships with its buyers, suppliers and other related
entities. Here the firm boundary has grown increasingly fuzzy with
the implementation of cooperation in the global supply chain, relationship
marketing, strategic alliances, joint ventures, product innovation
ideas from customers, and the like. MNCs have become network firms,
leveraging their relationships across national boundaries to create
value through synthesis and orchestration of far-flung resources
second front is the intra-firm perspective. In the original transaction
cost view, intra-firm relationships were governed by hierarchy.
Command and control systems were designed to administer principal-agent
(headquarters-subsidiary) relationships. Over the last two decades
subsidiaries of MNCs have been expanding their role beyond traditional
downstream activities like sales, service and assembly to encompass
upstream activities such as research and development (R&D),
component production, strategic marketing and support activities.
In this context, subsidiaries have been consolidating and some have
been achieving greater geographic or product range responsibilities.
process of consolidation has created both winners and losers – some
units receive broader mandates and responsibilities while others
are slimmed down or closed altogether. Subsidiaries are increasingly
finding themselves in competitive as well as cooperative relationships
with other units within the MNC. This has increased the scope for
intra-firm bargaining, coalition building and rent seeking.
this research forum we wish to foster a dialogue between scholars
studying these two perspectives in attempt to develop a more integrated
view of the working of the modern MNC in the global marketplace.
About twelve papers will be selected for presentation at the 4th
Annual IB Research Forum at Temple University, scheduled for March
29, 2003. Temple CIBER
will cover the presenters' travel and lodging expenses. Subsequently,
the best papers from the research forum will be published in a Special
Issue of the Journal of International
Submission. All manuscripts should be submitted electronically by
February 3, 2003 to Journal of International Management Office at
email@example.com . Alternatively,
a disk copy may be submitted to Journal of International Management
Office, The Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University,
349 Speakman Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19122, U.S.A.
are submitted with the understanding that they are original, unpublished
works and are not being submitted elsewhere.
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