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Firms in Developing Countries: A Theoretical Probe into the Borderland of Business Studies and Development Studies


  • Michael W Hansen

    (Centre for Business and Development Studies, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg)

  • Henrik Schaumburg-Müller

    (Centre for Business and Development Studies, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg)


Business studies and development studies have evolved relatively independent of each other – business studies occupied with profit maximizing strategies of entrepreneurs and firms, and development studies with economic, social and political development strategies of countries and regions. In recent years, the interest of both fields of academic enquiry has increasingly been directed toward issues related to firms and entrepreneurship in developing countries. However, in dealing with these issues, the two fields have, only to a limited degree, drawn on each other's insights. The article argues that without an enhanced conversation between the two fields in the era of globalization, the analytical and predictive power of both may be seriously impaired. The article moves on to identify areas, where there is substantial potential for cross-fertilization between the two fields.Les recherches dans le domaine du management et des études du développement ont évolué relativement indépendamment les unes des autres, la première s’intéressant aux stratégies permettant aux entreprises de maximiser leurs profits, les secondes s’interrogeant plutôt sur les stratégies de développement économique, social et politique des pays et des régions. Depuis quelques années, ces deux domaines de recherche se penchent sur des questions liées aux firmes et á l’entreprenariat dans les pays en voie de développement, mais les échanges et enrichissements mutuels entre les deux spécialités sont limités. Cet article a pour but de montrer que si le dialogue entre ces deux disciplines ne se développe pas, leur capacité analytique et de prévision risque, á l’ère de la mondialisation, d’être sérieusement compromise. Ce travail s’attache á identifier les champs de recherche au sein desquels des enrichissements mutuels pourraient être favorisés.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael W Hansen & Henrik Schaumburg-Müller, 2010. "Firms in Developing Countries: A Theoretical Probe into the Borderland of Business Studies and Development Studies," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 22(2), pages 197-216, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:2:p:197-216

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    Cited by:

    1. Floridi, A. & Wagner, N. & Cameron, J., 2016. "A study of Egyptian and Palestine trans-formal firms – A neglected category operating in the borderland between formality and informality," ISS Working Papers - General Series 619, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    2. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_s41287-016-0066-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hampwaye Godfrey & Jeppesen Soeren, 2014. "The role of state- business relations in the performance of Zambia’s food processing sub-sector," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, De Gruyter Open, vol. 26(26), pages 1-10, December.

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