Globalization or National Capitalism: Large Firms, National Strategies, and Political Activities
Does the cross-border strategic behavior of large firms reflect national differences? There is uncertainty about the ways in which expanding markets will influence the activities of large firms and national governments. Some theorists expect market forces to produce increasing pressure for uniform patterns of behavior, while others have argued that the national political economy is more resilient, and that corporate strategies remain identifiably national. Thus far the question, theoretically and empirically, has been posed in terms of economic behavior and consequences. We analyze the persistence of national practices in the political activities of large corporations using data on the Fortune 1000 industrial and service companies for 1988. To increase the sample of affiliates of foreign firms, we include firms in the Forbes ranking of largest U.S. affiliates of foreign firms. This source includes financial and service corporations as well as those in manufacturing industries. Overall, the findings suggest that, contrary to the national capitalism argument, firms adapt to the host political economy.
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