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Multinational Strategies and Developing Countries in Historical Perspective


  • Geoffrey Jones

    () (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)


This working paper offers a longitudinal and descriptive analysis of the strategies of multinationals from developed countries in developing countries. The central argument is that strategies were shaped by the trade-off between opportunity and risk. Three broad environmental factors determined the trade-off. The first was the prevailing political economy, including the policies of both host and home governments, and the international legal framework. The second was the market and resources of the host country. The third factor was competition from local firms. The impact of these factors on corporate strategies is explored, as shown in Fig. 1, during the three eras in the modern history of globalization from the nineteenth century until the present day. The performance of specific multinationals depended on the extent to which their internal capabilities enabled them to respond to these external opportunities and threats.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey Jones, 2010. "Multinational Strategies and Developing Countries in Historical Perspective," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-076, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-076

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    1. Multinational Strategies and Developing Countries in Historical Perspective
      by bbatiz in NEP-HIS blog on 2010-03-22 19:32:59


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    Cited by:

    1. Norma S. Lanciotti & Isabel Bartolomé, 2014. "Global strategies, differing experiences. Electricity companies in two late-industrialising countries: Spain and Argentina, 1890-1950," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(5), pages 724-745, July.
    2. repec:taf:bushst:v:58:y:2016:i:3:p:364-377 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wim Naudé, 2017. "Cities and Entrepreneurs over Time: Like a Horse and Carriage?," Working Papers id:12321, eSocialSciences.
    4. Andrew Godley & Haiming Hang, 2012. "Globalisation and the evolution of international retailing: A comment on Alexander's ‘British overseas retailing, 1900--1960’," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(4), pages 529-541, May.
    5. Naudé, Wim, 2017. "Cities and Entrepreneurs over Time: Like a Horse and Carriage?," IZA Discussion Papers 11195, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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