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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Teece, David J., 2006. "Reflections on the Hymer thesis and the multinational enterprise," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 124-139, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:15:y:2006:i:2:p:124-139
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    1. David J. Teece, 2008. "Multinational Enterprise, Internal Governance, and Industrial Organization," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World, chapter 19, pages 421-426 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. David J. TEECE, 2008. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World, chapter 5, pages 67-87 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Hymer, Stephen, 1970. "The Efficiency (Contradictions) of Multinational Corporations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 441-448, May.
    4. David J. TEECE, 2008. "TRANSACTIONS COST ECONOMICS AND THE MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISE: An Assessment," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World, chapter 20, pages 427-451 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. John H Dunning, 1980. "Towards an Eclectic Theory of International Production: Some Empirical Tests," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 11(1), pages 9-31, 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;Academy of International Business, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:manint:v:47:y:2007:i:2:d:10.1007_s11575-007-0012-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leonardo Costa Ribeiro & Márcia Siqueira Rapini & Leandro Alves Silva & Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque, 2017. "Cross-border co-authorships in scientific articles and knowledge flows: implications for investigating an emerging international system of innovation," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG 553, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    3. Christos N. Pitelis & David J. Teece, 2010. "Cross-border market co-creation, dynamic capabilities and the entrepreneurial theory of the multinational enterprise," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 1247-1270, August.
    4. Christos N. Pitelis, 2011. "Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Integration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume III, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. 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).
    6. repec:spr:manint:v:47:y:2007:i:2:d:10.1007_s11575-007-0010-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lin, Chinho & Chang, Chia-Chi, 2015. "The effect of technological diversification on organizational performance: An empirical study of S&P 500 manufacturing firms," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 90(PB), pages 575-586.
    8. repec:bla:jomstd:v:54:y:2017:i:3:p:340-365 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. Pitelis, Christos, 2009. "Foreign direct investment and economic integration," MPRA Paper 23938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. 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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