The Evolution of Multinationals

The Future of Foreign Direct Investment and the Multinational Enterprise

ISBN: 978-0-85724-555-7, eISBN: 978-0-85724-556-4

ISSN: 1064-4857

Publication date: 3 May 2011


As an institution, the multinational enterprise has evolved in complexity. From having roots in just a few Western nations, it now has roots in dozens of nations, including many developing countries. Its scope has likewise expanded from natural resource-based industries and manufacturing to a variety of services. And firms are becoming multinational earlier in their lives and at smaller sizes than in the past. This chapter analyzes the evolution of multinationals over the last century, the forces driving that evolution, and distinctive characteristics of the latest wave of multinationals coming out of developing countries. It also explores the risk of a backlash against globalization and multinationals in Western societies, even as these trends gain in popularity in developing countries. It concludes with questions that international business scholars might want to pursue in their future research.



Aharoni, Y. and Ramamurti, R. (2011), "The Evolution of Multinationals", Ramamurti, R. and Hashai, N. (Ed.) The Future of Foreign Direct Investment and the Multinational Enterprise (Research in Global Strategic Management, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 113-135.

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