IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

MNEs as border-crossing multi-location enterprises: The role of discontinuities in geographic space


  • Sjoerd Beugelsdijk

    (University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)

  • Ram Mudambi

    (Temple University, Philadelphia, USA)


Spurred by the classic work of Dunning, MNE location has become the focus of a growing body of research in the field. In this paper we argue that international business (IB) research examining the spatial dimension has serious weaknesses, stemming from its traditional assumption of the country as the location unit of analysis. While border-crossing remains the key research context of IB, placing it within a general spatial framework that recognizes both international and subnational spatial heterogeneity opens up vast new vistas for research. Analyzing MNEs as border-crossing multi-location enterprises allows the researcher to distinguish between (discrete) border effects and (continuous) distance effects and undertake a more fine-grained analysis of location. Within such analysis national borders may appear as qualitative discontinuities in space, that is, points at which spatial heterogeneity changes abruptly. However, subnational spatial heterogeneity is often the characteristic that drives firm strategy as MNEs decide to locate in particular agglomerations and not at random locations within a country. The complex firms that IB scholars study typically include multiple units within the same country, so that a complete analysis requires considering both subnational distance effects as well as international border effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Ram Mudambi, 2013. "MNEs as border-crossing multi-location enterprises: The role of discontinuities in geographic space," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 44(5), pages 413-426, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:44:y:2013:i:5:p:413-426

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:44:y:2013:i:5:p:413-426. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.