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Evaluation of the performance and implications of multinationals: a framework of issues

Robert D. Pearce (School of Economics, University of Reading, Reading, UK)
Yuxuan Tang (International Development Cooperation Academy, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Shanghai, China)

Critical Perspectives on International Business

ISSN: 1742-2043

Article publication date: 29 November 2019

Issue publication date: 20 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to evaluate multinational enterprises’ (MNEs) performance and impact in contexts beyond their own internal objectives.


Based on an “eclectic” paradigm and the range of motivations, the framework is designed around three layers of evaluation: “efficiency” as static optimisation, “growth and development” as the dynamics of change on a purely economic view; political/economic sphere in terms of the outcomes of “distribution”, and “sovereignty” on the more purely political concern of how MNEs may undermine countries’ policy independence.


MNE and national economies have to use current sources of competitiveness efficiently while addressing the necessity to reinforce and refocus them through time. Within these broad agendas, significant interactions and outcomes reflect a range of contingencies conditioned by both MNE objectives and hosts’ competitive status.


The paper concerns economics and MNE role in globalisation. The paper defines a framework of four generic evaluative issues of MNE performance, which subsume a wider range of important but more niche concerns.



This paper forms part of a special section “Do Multinational Enterprises Contribute to, or Reduce Global Inequality?”, guest edited by Sasha Zhao.


Pearce, R.D. and Tang, Y. (2021), "Evaluation of the performance and implications of multinationals: a framework of issues", Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 9-32.



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