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Reflections on the Hymer thesis and the multinational enterprise

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  • Teece, David J.

Abstract

Understanding the economic function of the multinational enterprise remains a seminal issue. Almost half a century ago, Stephen Hymer initiated serious scholarly inquiry into the theory of multinational enterprise by positing that domestic firms needed special advantages to go global and succeed. However, he failed to fully unlock the foundations of the posited special advantages. Moreover, he sensed that multinational firms could not exist in a (theoretical) world of perfect competition, and wrongfully concluded that pernicious market power must be associated with the overseas activities of the multinational enterprise. This article examines Hymer's contributions and hints at the need for an (intangible) assets/capabilities based analysis of the multinational enterprise.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 124-139

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Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:15:y:2006:i:2:p:124-139

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References

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  1. Teece, David J, 1985. "Multinational Enterprise, Internal Governance, and Industrial Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 233-38, May.
  2. John H Dunning, 1980. "Towards an Eclectic Theory of International Production: Some Empirical Tests," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 11(1), pages 9-31, March.
  3. Hymer, Stephen, 1970. "The Efficiency (Contradictions) of Multinational Corporations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 441-48, May.
  4. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
  5. Teece, David J., 1986. "Transactions cost economics and the multinational enterprise An Assessment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 21-45, March.
  6. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Pitelis, Christos, 2009. "Foreign direct investment and economic integration," MPRA Paper 23938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Angels Pelegrín & Catalina Bolancé, 2011. "Offshoring and company characteristics: some evidence from the analysis of Spanish firm data," Working Papers 2011/16, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  3. Pitelis, Christos & Teece, David, 2010. "Cross-border Market Co-creation, Dynamic Capabilities and the Entrepreneurial Theory of the Multinational Enterprise," MPRA Paper 23301, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Pitelis, Christos, 2009. "Edith Penrose’s ‘The Theory of the Growth of the Firm’ Fifty Years Later," MPRA Paper 23180, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Buckley, Peter J., 2011. "The theory of international business pre-Hymer," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 61-73, January.

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