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Multinationals, host countries and subsidiary development: Falconbridge Nikkelverk in Norway, 1929-39

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  • Pål Thonstad Sandvik

Abstract

Multinational companies and their subsidiaries have been important actors in the world economy. However, we know relatively little about the evolution of subsidiaries and their adaption to host country conditions. This article is a case study of a Norwegian subsidiary of the Canadian mining multinational Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd. It examines what autonomy the subsidiary had, how the autonomy was used, its development of knowledge and how it adapted to Norwegian ways of doing business. The article shows that subsidiaries may contribute significantly to the development of their mother companies. It highlights four factors that influenced the degree of autonomy and the evolution of subsidiaries in the inter-war era; namely host country politics, the line of business, the configuration of knowledge within the given multinational company and in case of acquisitions; the prehistory of the subsidiary.

Suggested Citation

  • Pål Thonstad Sandvik, 2010. "Multinationals, host countries and subsidiary development: Falconbridge Nikkelverk in Norway, 1929-39," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 251-267.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:52:y:2010:i:2:p:251-267
    DOI: 10.1080/00076791003610667
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