Why do companies relocate? The German discourse on relocation
The paper examines the role of discourse in supporting firm's decisions to relocate and how main actors influence such discourse. If there is uncertainty about the general functioning of the economy, discourse is the place where ideas and paradigms, and possible options of behavior, are created. Since interests are not given a priori but are socially constructed, discourse contributes to their definition by selecting, amplifying and legitimizing arguments and causal relationships between the functioning of the market and individual behavior. Some surveys of German companies show that while relocation is increasing, the advantages for firms are less clear than expected. The main argument of the paper is that the public debate in German newspapers and the business press since the 1990s could have influenced the processes of decision-making over relocation by amplifying the disadvantages of remaining in Germany and neglecting the conflicts and additional costs arising for companies by relocating their production activities.
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