IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

What is a multinational corporation? Classifying the degree of firm-level multinationality

  • Aggarwal, Raj
  • Berrill, Jenny
  • Hutson, Elaine
  • Kearney, Colm

The degree of firm-level multinationality is a key dimension that spans all theoretical frameworks, levels of empirical analysis and domains of investigation in international business research. There is, however, no agreed approach to defining or measuring firm-level multinationality. This is reflected in inconsistent approaches to sample selection and empirical testing, and it has curtailed the advancement of the discipline. We propose that instead of searching for the elusive, all-encompassing definition of an MNC, international business scholars should instead agree on a classification system for the degree of firm-level multinationality. We illustrate the advantages of this approach by constructing a simple classification system that takes into account the firm's breadth and depth of multinational engagements. We illustrate our matrix of firm multinationality by classifying a novel sample of over 1000 firms from seven countries, and we demonstrate how it can guide theory development and empirical testing. We also provide examples of potential future research directions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969593110001277
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

Volume (Year): 20 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 557-577

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:20:y:2011:i:5:p:557-577
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/description#description

Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/bibliographic
Web: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/bibliographic

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra & Mehmet Genc, 2008. "Transforming disadvantages into advantages: developing-country MNEs in the least developed countries," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(6), pages 957-979, September.
  2. Bodnar, Gordon M. & Dumas, Bernard & Marston, Richard C., 2000. "Pass-through and Exposure," Working Papers 00-4, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  3. Ricardo G Flores & Ruth V Aguilera, 2007. "Globalization and location choice: an analysis of US multinational firms in 1980 and 2000," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(7), pages 1187-1210, December.
  4. Linda Allen & Christos Pantzalis, 1996. "Valuation of the operating Flexibility of Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(4), pages 633-653, December.
  5. Lorraine Eden, 2008. "Letter from the Editor-in-Chief," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(4), pages 535-536, June.
  6. Hirsch, Seev & Lev, Baruch, 1971. "Sales Stabilization Through Export Diversification," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(3), pages 270-77, August.
  7. Allen Michel & Israel Shaked, 1986. "Multinational Corporations vs Domestic Corporations: Financial Performance and Characteristics," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 17(3), pages 89-100, September.
  8. Susan P Douglas & C Samuel Craig, 1983. "Examining Performance of U.S. Multinationals in Foreign Markets," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 14(3), pages 51-62, September.
  9. Casper, Steven, 2007. "Creating Silicon Valley in Europe: Public Policy Towards New Technology Industries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199269525, March.
  10. John H Dunning & Masataka Fujita & Nevena Yakova, 2007. "Some macro-data on the regionalisation/globalisation debate: a comment on the Rugman/Verbeke analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(1), pages 177-199, January.
  11. Jeffrey G. Miller & Aleda V. Roth, 1994. "A Taxonomy of Manufacturing Strategies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(3), pages 285-304, March.
  12. John H Dunning, 2009. "Location and the multinational enterprise: A neglected factor?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(1), pages 5-19, January.
  13. Erin Anderson & Hubert Gatignon, 1986. "Modes of Foreign Entry: A Transaction Cost Analysis and Propositions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 17(3), pages 1-26, September.
  14. Lenn Gomes & Kannan Ramaswamy, 1999. "An Empirical Examination of the Form of the Relationship Between Multinationality and Performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(1), pages 173-187, March.
  15. Thomas Osegowitsch & Andr� Sammartino, 2008. "Reassessing (home-)regionalisation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(2), pages 184-196, March.
  16. Simon Collinson & Alan M Rugman, 2008. "The regional nature of Japanese multinational business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(2), pages 215-230, March.
  17. F Barry & C Kearney, 2006. "MNEs and industrial structure in host countries: a portfolio analysis of Irish manufacturing," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(3), pages 392-406, May.
  18. Hashai, Niron & Almor, Tamar, 2004. "Gradually internationalizing 'born global' firms: an oxymoron?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 465-483, August.
  19. Wheeler, David & Mody, Ashoka, 1992. "International investment location decisions : The case of U.S. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 57-76, August.
  20. Masaaki Kotabe & Srini S Srinivasan & Preet S Aulakh, 2002. "Multinationality and Firm Performance: The Moderating Role of R&D and Marketing Capabilities," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(1), pages 79-97, March.
  21. Harry G Barkema & Rian Drogendijk, 2007. "Internationalising in small, incremental or larger steps?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(7), pages 1132-1148, December.
  22. Joan Enric Ricart & Michael J Enright & Pankaj Ghemawat & Stuart L Hart & Tarun Khanna, 2004. "New frontiers in international strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(3), pages 175-200, May.
  23. Thomas Hutzschenreuter & Torben Pedersen & Henk W Volberda, 2007. "The role of path dependency and managerial intentionality: a perspective on international business research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(7), pages 1055-1068, December.
  24. Mathur, Ike & Singh, Manohar & Gleason, Kimberly C., 2001. "The evidence from Canadian firms on multinational diversification and performance," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 561-578.
  25. Patrick F. Rowland & Linda L. Tesar, 2004. "Multinationals and the Gains from International Diversification," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 789-826, October.
  26. Bill McKelvey, 1978. "Organizational Systematics: Taxonomic Lessons from Biology," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(13), pages 1428-1440, September.
  27. Pankaj Ghemawat, 2003. "Semiglobalization and international business strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(2), pages 138-152, March.
  28. Kannan Ramaswamy & K Galen Kroeck & William Renforth, 1996. "Measuring the Degree of Internationalization of a firm: A Comment," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(1), pages 167-177, March.
  29. Fang Cai & Francis E. Warnock, 2004. "International diversification at home and abroad," International Finance Discussion Papers 793, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  30. Robert M Grant, 1987. "Multinationality and Performance among British Manufacturing Companies," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 18(3), pages 79-89, September.
  31. Rugman, Alan M., 2003. "Regional strategy and the demise of globalization," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 409-417.
  32. Peneder, Michael, 2010. "Technological regimes and the variety of innovation behaviour: Creating integrated taxonomies of firms and sectors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 323-334, April.
  33. Agmon, Tamir & Lessard, Donald R, 1977. "Investor Recognition of Corporate International Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1049-55, September.
  34. Geoffrey Jones & Tarun Khanna, 2006. "Bringing history (back) into international business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(4), pages 453-468, July.
  35. Edward E. Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," NBER Working Papers 8450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Fatemi, Ali M, 1984. " Shareholder Benefits from Corporate International Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1325-44, December.
  37. Martin, Ron, 1999. "The New 'Geographical Turn' in Economics: Some Critical Reflections," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 65-91, January.
  38. Rugman, Alan & Hodgetts, Richard, 2001. "The end of global strategy," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 333-343, August.
  39. Meric S. Gertler, 2001. "Best practice? Geography, learning and the institutional limits to strong convergence," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 5-26, January.
  40. Chandra S Mishra & David H Gobeli, 1998. "Managerial Incentives, Internalization, and Market Valuation of Multinational Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(3), pages 583-597, September.
  41. Brewer, H. L., 1981. "Investor Benefits from Corporate International Diversification," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 113-126, March.
  42. Anne-Wil Harzing, 2000. "An Empirical Analysis and Extension of the Bartlett and Ghoshal Typology of Multinational Companies," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(1), pages 101-120, March.
  43. John A Mathews & Ivo Zander, 2007. "The international entrepreneurial dynamics of accelerated internationalisation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(3), pages 387-403, May.
  44. 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.
  45. Marian V Jones & Nicole E Coviello, 2005. "Internationalisation: conceptualising an entrepreneurial process of behaviour in time," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 284-303, May.
  46. Benjamin M Oviatt & Patricia Phillips McDougall, 2005. "Toward a theory of international new ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(1), pages 29-41, January.
  47. Wu, Xiaohong & Strange, Roger, 2000. "The location of foreign insurance companies in China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 383-398, June.
  48. Donald J Lecraw, 1983. "Performance of Transnational Corporations in Less Developed Countries," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 14(1), pages 15-33, March.
  49. Christos Pantzalis & Betty J Simkins & Paul A Laux, 2001. "Operational Hedges and the Foreign Exchange Exposure of U.S. Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 32(4), pages 793-812, December.
  50. Aguilera, Ruth V. & Flores, Ricardo G. & Vaaler, Paul M., 2007. "Is It All a Matter of Grouping? Examining the Regional Effect in Global Strategy Research," Working Papers 07-0106, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  51. Liu, Hong & Pak, Kelvin, 1999. "How important is marketing in China today to Sino-foreign joint ventures?," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 546-554, October.
  52. Chuck C Y Kwok & David M Reeb, 2000. "Internationalization and Firm Risk: An Upstream-Downstream Hypothesis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(4), pages 611-629, December.
  53. Vihang Errunza & Ked Hogan & Mao-Wei Hung, 1999. "Can the Gains from International Diversification Be Achieved without Trading Abroad?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2075-2107, December.
  54. Peter J Buckley & Pervez N Ghauri, 2004. "Globalisation, economic geography and the strategy of multinational enterprises," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(3), pages 255-255, May.
  55. Slangen, Arjen H.L., 2006. "National cultural distance and initial foreign acquisition performance: The moderating effect of integration," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 161-170, June.
  56. Peter Sanden & Jan-Erik Vahlne, 1974. "The Growth Rates of Swedish Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 5(1), pages 91-106, March.
  57. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
  58. Jan Johanson & Jan-Erik Vahlne, 1977. "The Internationalization Process of the Firm—A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 23-32, March.
  59. Peter J Buckley & Donald R Lessard, 2005. "Regaining the edge for international business research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(6), pages 595-599, November.
  60. Daniel Sullivan, 1994. "Measuring the Degree of Internationalization of a Firm," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(2), pages 325-342, June.
  61. Peter J Buckley & Pervez N Ghauri, 2004. "Globalisation, economic geography and the strategy of multinational enterprises," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(2), pages 81-98, March.
  62. José Campa & Mauro F. Guillén, 1999. "The Internalization of Exports: Firm- and Location-Specific Factors in a Middle-Income Country," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(11), pages 1463-1478, November.
  63. Canabal, Anne & White III, George O., 2008. "Entry mode research: Past and future," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 267-284, June.
  64. McCarthy, Ian & Ridgway, Keith & Leseure, Michel & Fieller, Nick, 2000. "Organisational diversity, evolution and cladistic classifications," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 77-95, February.
  65. Buckley, Peter J & Chapman, Malcolm, 1997. "The Perception and Measurement of Transaction Costs," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 127-45, March.
  66. Alan M. Rugman & Alain Verbeke, 2004. "A Perspective on Regional and Global Strategies of Multinational Enterprises," Working Papers 2004-19, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  67. Hughes, John S. & Logue, Dennis E. & Sweeney, Richard James, 1975. "Corporate International Diversification and Market Assigned Measures of Risk and Diversification," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 627-637, November.
  68. Berrill, Jenny & Kearney, Colm, 2010. "Firm-level internationalisation and the home bias puzzle," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 235-256, July.
  69. Christian Geisler Asmussen, 2009. "Local, regional, or global? Quantifying MNE geographic scope," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(7), pages 1192-1205, September.
  70. Azmi D Mikhail & Hany A Shawky, 1979. "Investment Performance of U.S Based Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 10(1), pages 53-66, March.
  71. Raja Kali & Javier Reyes, 2007. "The architecture of globalization: a network approach to international economic integration," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 595-620, July.
  72. Elaine Hutson & Simon Stevenson, 2010. "Openness, hedging incentives and foreign exchange exposure: A firm-level multi-country study," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(1), pages 105-122, January.
  73. Benjamin M Oviatt & Patricia Phillips McDougall, 1994. "Toward a Theory of International New ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(1), pages 45-64, March.
  74. Dunning, John H., 2000. "The eclectic paradigm as an envelope for economic and business theories of MNE activity," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 163-190, April.
  75. Laszlo Tihanyi & David A Griffith & Craig J Russell, 2005. "The effect of cultural distance on entry mode choice, international diversification, and MNE performance: a meta-analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 270-283, May.
  76. Archibugi, Daniele & Michie, Jonathan, 1995. "The Globalisation of Technology: A New Taxonomy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 121-40, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:20:y:2011:i:5:p:557-577. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.