Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Large Enterprise Branches: The Case of the Czech Republic

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Large Enterprise Branches: The Case of the Czech Republic

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


Large enterprises and their organizational structures can be comprehended as one of the most important determinants of socioeconomic landscape. Internal hierarchies of these companies often tend to follow existing settlement hierarchies. Indeed, when evaluating big companies, economic and geographical perspectives are of utmost importance. When these two perspectives are joined together we get a truly useful instrument for tackling large enterprises with emphasis on their organizational structures. And just the fine mixture of economic and geographical standpoints will be utilized also in this article.

Location decision-making and enterprise organizational hierarchies belong among typical themes in advanced countries. There exist ample literary resources dealing with large enterprises from economic, geographical, sociological or political perspectives. In practice, location decision-making is a difficult process since it is dependent on concrete socioeconomic context. Above contexts are strongly differentiated as to their spatio-temporal characteristics as well as prevailing economic-political paradigms.

Any larger generalizations are not desirable also due to the different nature of applied methods, differentiated sources and quality of data, peculiar features of specific branches of the economy, different institutional environment in various territories, specific targets of individual companies etc. (see also Aksoy & Marshall, 1992; Bevan, Estrin & Meyer, 2004; Corbridge, Martin & Thrift et al., 1994; Shephard & Barnes et al., 2003; Suchacek, Seda, Friedrich & Koutsky, 2014 or Johnston, Gregory & Smith et al., 1994).

Collocation of largest enterprises affects also territorial developmental processes, which is twofold valid for relatively small and open economies of post-transformation character, such as the Czech Republic, which provides us with appropriate material for the case study. Spatial distribution of large enterprises co-shapes contemporary socioeconomic relevance of individual regions one the one hand and helps to materialize also future socioeconomic maps of whole countries. There exists a distinct interconnectedness between politics and economy, which is officially disregarded and almost concealed.

Big companies embody one of the most important actors of local and regional development. Their stabilizing and developmental functions in relations to territorial economies are frequently being emphasized. They can also affect competitiveness and cohesion of whole territories. In contrast to their smaller counterparts they possess the capability to compete on European or even worldwide scale. Connotations related to territorial development are apparent and we are entitled to state that intra-enterprise geography simply matters.

The main objective of this paper is to analyze and assess the location factors pinpointing the location of the first-tier branches of one hundred largest Czech enterprises. Sizes of individual enterprises are embodied by their turnover. The whole issue will be captured and interpreted primarily from qualitative perspective. And, as already indicated, territorial principle will penetrate whole our study as it considerably affects the formation of enterprise affiliates. In recent years, headquarters of large enterprises lured intense, albeit yet insufficient attention (see Lyons, 1994; Meyer & Sinani, 2009 or Suchacek & Baranek, 2011).

However, local and regional studies usually get rid of affiliates of individual enterprises. Put succinctly, geographies of largest enterprises are of enormous importance and individual affiliates should not be underestimated at all. Case study brings us to the Czech Republic, which traditionally belonged among economies with strong emphasis upon industry. In this country, large enterprises always played quite a relevant role. That is why location preferences of large enterprise headquarters and affiliates in the country should be the subject of close scrutiny. …

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