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The Limits of Explanation: Testing the Internalization Theory of the Multinational Enterprise

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  • Peter J Buckley

    (University of Bradford)

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    Abstract

    The paper explores the difficulties of testing the internalization approach in the modern theory of the multinational enterprises. The structure of the theory is elaborated and the conclusion drawn that testing cannot occur at the most general theoretical level but that the theory requires careful restricting assumptions to be placed on it to allow rigorous testing. Several empirical circumstances would constitute refutation if they could be shown to hold. However, the use of unconventional cases or outliers does not constitute disproof. More rigour is required in formulating and testing the theory but the current verdict on the theory must be “not disproven”.© 1988 JIBS. Journal of International Business Studies (1988) 19, 181–193

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.

    Volume (Year): 19 (1988)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 181-193

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    Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:19:y:1988:i:2:p:181-193

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    Cited by:
    1. Oskar Villarreal Larrinaga, 2010. "The Dodecagon of Internationalisation: A Theoretical Integration Model," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1), pages 3-24.
    2. Catherine Matraves & Peter Rodriguez, 2005. "Profitability, Diversification, and Multinationality in Leading German and UK Firms," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business, and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 4(2), pages 87-105, August.
    3. Bruton, Garry D. & Lohrke, Franz T. & Lu, Jane W., 2004. "The evolving definition of what comprises international strategic management research," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 413-429.
    4. Meschi, Pierre-Xavier & Cheng, Louis T. W., 2002. "Stock price reactions to Sino-European joint ventures," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 119-126, July.
    5. Pradhan, Jaya Prakash, 2007. "National Innovation System and the Emergence of Indian Information and Software Technology Multinationals," MPRA Paper 12359, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Czinkota, Michael R. & Grossman, David A. & Javalgi, Rajshekhar (Raj) G. & Nugent, Nicholas, 2009. "Foreign market entry mode of service firms: The case of U.S. MBA programs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 274-286, July.
    7. Tang Linghui, 2002. "Incomplete contracts And Vertically Integrated Multinational Enterprises," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 127-138.
    8. Rahman, Manzur & Deshpande, Shreesh, 1997. "Convertible bond calls by multinational and domestic firms: an agency cost perspective," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 43-54, April.
    9. Fladmoe-Lindquist, Karin, 1996. "International franchising: Capabilities and development," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 419-438, September.
    10. Moon, Hwy-Chang & Roehl, Thomas W., 2001. "Unconventional foreign direct investment and the imbalance theory," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 197-215, April.
    11. De Beule, Filip & Van Den Bulcke, Daniel, 2009. "Retrospective and prospective views about the future of the multinational enterprise," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 215-223, June.
    12. Tatoglu, Ekrem & W. Glaister, Keith, 1998. "An analysis of motives for western FDI in Turkey," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-230, April.
    13. Halkos, George & Tzeremes, Nickolaos, 2005. "Internationalization Strategies and Productivity: Evidence from Foreign Owned Companies Operating in the Greek Manufacturing Sector," MPRA Paper 2857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Fisch, Jan Hendrik, 2008. "Internalization and internationalization under competing real options," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 108-123, June.
    15. Brouthers, Keith D. & Brouthers, Lance Eliot & Werner, Steve, 1996. "Dunning's eclectic theory and the smaller firm: The impact of ownership and locational advantages on the choice of entry-modes in the computer software industry," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 377-394, August.
    16. Anna Lejpras, 2012. "Knowledge, Location, and Internationalization: Empirical Evidence for Manufacturing SMEs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1229, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Iavor Marangozov, 2005. "From Practice to Theory of the International Joint Ventures," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 2, pages 44-77.
    18. Cerrato, Daniele, 2006. "The multinational enterprise as an internal market system," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 253-277, June.
    19. Pananond, Pavida, 2007. "The changing dynamics of Thai multinationals after the Asian economic crisis," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 356-375, September.
    20. Garg, Miti & Delios, Andrew, 2007. "Survival of the foreign subsidiaries of TMNCs: The influence of business group affiliation," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 278-295, September.

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