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The Decentering of the Global Firm

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  • Mihir A. Desai

    () (Harvard Business School, Finance Unit)

Abstract

This paper describes recent changes in the relationship between firms and nation states. Firms are typically linked to the nation in which they began and are considered to have fixed national identities. While firms have reallocated various activities around the world in response to value creation opportunities, they have largely retained their national identities and their headquarter activities remained bundled in their home countries. This characterization is increasingly tenuous. Firms are redefining their homes by unbundling their headquarters functions and reallocating them opportunistically across nations. A firm's legal home, its financial home and its homes for managerial talent no longer need to be colocated and, consequently, the idea of firms as national actors rooted in their home countries is rapidly becoming outdated. The implications for policy makers and researchers are outlined.

Suggested Citation

  • Mihir A. Desai, 2008. "The Decentering of the Global Firm," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-054, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-054
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael P. Devereux, 2008. "Taxation of outbound direct investment: economic principles and tax policy considerations," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 698-719, winter.

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