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Multinational enterprises, development and globalisation: some clarifications and a research agenda

  • Narula R.
  • Dunning J.H.


This paper considers how economic globalization has affected opportunities and challenges for developing countries in following a multinational enterprise (MNE)-assisted development strategy, revisiting an earlier article by the authors. The growing share of industrial activity owned and/or controlled by MNEs has not—by and large—led to a proportional increase in sustainable domestic industrial growth. Particular attention is paid to how MNEs have responded proactively to globalization by modifying their strategies, spatial organization and the modalities by which they interact with host economic actors, and how these changes alter our understanding of MNEs and development. What has been learnt over the last decade about embeddedness, institutions, inertia, absorptive capacity, spillovers and linkages, and how they can explain the success of some countries (or regions) in promoting growth, and the failure of others, is examined. The need to link MNE and industrial policies systematically is highlighted. Attracting the “right kinds” of MNE activity remains important, but greater heterogeneity of MNE activity and host locations requires greater customization of policy tools.

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Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 023.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2009023
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