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This chapter complements the one that appeared as “History of the AIB Fellows: 1975–2008” in Volume 14 of this series (International Business Scholarship: AIB Fellows on…
This chapter complements the one that appeared as “History of the AIB Fellows: 1975–2008” in Volume 14 of this series (International Business Scholarship: AIB Fellows on the First 50 Years and Beyond, Jean J. Boddewyn, Editor). It traces what happened under the deanship of Alan Rugman (2011–2014) who took many initiatives reported here while his death in July 2014 generated trenchant, funny, and loving comments from more than half of the AIB Fellows. The lives and contributions of many other major international business scholars who passed away from 2008 to 2014 are also evoked here: Endel Kolde, Lee Nehrt, Howard Perlmutter, Stefan Robock, John Ryans, Vern Terpstra, and Daniel Van Den Bulcke.
The history of international business has generated a growing literature. Over the AIB's fifty years, scholars associated with AIB have contributed to this literature but…
The history of international business has generated a growing literature. Over the AIB's fifty years, scholars associated with AIB have contributed to this literature but it has been a far broader one. This chapter surveys a sample of the wide variety of works on the history of multinational enterprise, published from the 1950s onward. The works are not only in business history but also in diplomatic and legal history. The literature makes it clear that the multinational enterprise has a long history and is far from a post-World War II or post-1989 phenomenon. The chapter shows the variety in the accumulation of studies in business history directly related to international business as well as the forums where business historians present their findings. It considers why and how international-business history matters for international-business research.
The purpose of this paper is to decompose the historical and conceptual basis of the Free-Standing Company (FSC) in international business history. This is used to…
The purpose of this paper is to decompose the historical and conceptual basis of the Free-Standing Company (FSC) in international business history. This is used to critique the FSC concept. The paper then provides a new framework to explain the lifecycle of these firms in a theoretically sensitive way.
The paper is conceptual. The argument is developed through a critical reading of the existing literature.
The central argument presented is that the FSC concept is ahistorical and cannot fully explain the firms it considers over time. An alternative approach is proposed.
The paper does not present new (archival) historical evidence.
The central contribution/ambition of the paper is to advance the theoretical understanding of international firms of considerable historical importance. The ambition of the paper is to help renew research into this important historical organizational form that speaks directly to the ability of historical research to help advance international business theory.
Business history can cast light on current topics in international business. With that in mind, the author asked herself how she as a business historian might contribute an invited brief essay to a volume on international business in times of crisis. What were the relevant methods of business historians, including archival research? After discussing such methods, the author turns to a current crisis. News from India in May–June 2021 (as the author was writing this chapter) told of the devastating destruction caused by the virus, Covid-19. How, the author asked herself, was it that an Indian company, reported to be the largest producer of vaccines in the world, was unable to meet its home country’s demand in this crisis? The company is Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd., a multinational enterprise founded in 1966 by Indian entrepreneur Cyrus Poonawalla. Was its inability to meet India’s needs a case of failed Indian state policies, or, did the difficulty lie in failed corporate strategy? Was the answer more nuanced? Probably. What did the research methods of business historians contribute? What could be learned by following a path suggested by this international business historian? The application of a business history approach puts the Indian story in an international context. The chapter is an experiment. Ideas and questions are posed without being pursued. Background information of this business historian is added. The chapter does not give answers to the questions that arose from preliminary investigations. It pushes the reader to research more thoroughly the business history of this particular multinational enterprise and to consider the complexities in decision making as viewed from what turn out to be different home and host perspectives. Business is perceived as a separate actor, a constrained decision maker. The chapter draws on the existing fragmentary but related knowledge of this business historian and indicates possible routes for others to uncover answers to the many unanswered questions generated by preliminary investigations. The answers (to be provided by others) will hopefully generate informed policy making.
Business history has long been recognized as providing an important dimension to international-business (IB) studies. Much of this historical work has focused on mapping…
Business history has long been recognized as providing an important dimension to international-business (IB) studies. Much of this historical work has focused on mapping historical growth patterns of multinational enterprises (MNEs) but there is also a growing literature on the long-term impact of MNE investment on host economies, and this paper reviews this research. The focus is primarily on developing-country host economies, and more broadly on the global distribution of wealth and poverty. The article suggests three major arguments. First, it is necessary to take a long-time horizon when assessing impact on host economies. Second, it is necessary to incorporate societal and cultural impacts alongside more traditional measures of economic impact. Third, there is weak historical evidence that MNE’s have had a substantial positive impact over the long run on the development of host developing economies. A hypothesis is suggested that, given adequate domestic growth-supporting institutions and human-capital development, developing countries achieve more sustained development from excluding foreign-owned MNEs rather than hosting them.
This chapter proposes a framework which relates the Firm Specific Advantages (FSAs) of the multinational enterprise with the timing of entry in VUCA-type host…
This chapter proposes a framework which relates the Firm Specific Advantages (FSAs) of the multinational enterprise with the timing of entry in VUCA-type host environments, characterised by high volatility (V), uncertainty (U), complexity (C), and ambiguity (A), and which have become extraordinarily high risk. Drawing on historical evidence, in particular on Geoffrey Jones’ research - to whom this volume is dedicated - on the evolution of international business, it shows that in extraordinarily high-risk environments multinational enterprises need to have additional FSAs beyond those considered in the traditional FSAs/CSAs (country specific advantages/firm specific advantages) framework. The proposed framework distinguishes between prevention, mitigation, avoidance and withdrawal strategies carried out before and after entry in host markets that have become of extraordinary high risk.
Most years, several AIB members are elected as AIB Fellows on account of their excellent international business scholarship, and/or past service as AIB President or Executive Secretary. The Fellows are in charge of electing Eminent Scholars as well as the International Executive and International Educator (formerly, Dean) of the Year, who often provide the focus for Plenary Sessions at AIB Conferences. Their history since 1975 covers over half of the span of the AIB and reflects many issues that dominated that period in terms of research themes, progresses and problems, the internationalization of business education and the role of international business in society and around the globe. Like other organizations, the Fellows Group had their ups and downs, successes and failures – and some fun too!
This chapter uses the intellectual journey of Geoffrey Jones as an international business scholar to suggest that crises have been the norm rather than the exception in the history of international business. Over the last 100 years world wars, regional conflicts, the Great Depression, and decolonization are among the shocks which have transformed the political economy of global business. For businesses active in emerging markets, shocks have been regular occurrences. Scholars need to address the role of crises and rare events in international business, along with the wider social implications, by employing unconventional methodologies, and making bold claims. Robust evidence on climate change and multiple geo-political tensions suggest a prolonged period going forward when global business will encounter turbulence and crisis.