In this chapter we chart the evolution of the theory of the multinational enterprise (MNE) from Buckley and Casson’s original depiction to Buckley’s conceptualization of the global factory. Within that context we consider the issues of risk and uncertainty which continue to challenge firms in the international context. Indeed, despite the explosion in access to greater wealth of digital sources of information and knowledge, risk, uncertainty, volatility, complexity, and ambiguity remain constraints on the ability of firms to function effectively in the international arena. Theoretical development around the nature of the MNE must deal with such enormities, but also other demands in the global context. The evolution of the global factory has been recognized as the disintegration of the MNE through the externalization of many of its previously core activities, including parts of production and marketing, but this form of the MNE will not be the end-game. Ultimately, it may be questioned whether the MNE is becoming, or has become, just a global super-manager of value activities orchestrating the internationalization of production.
Welch, P.W.L.a.L.S. (2019), "The Firms of Our Times: Risk and Uncertainty", Tulder, R.V., Verbeke, A. and Jankowska, B. (Ed.) International Business in a VUCA World: The Changing Role of States and Firms (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 14), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 41-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1745-886220190000014004Download as .RIS
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