The Management of International Enterprises: A Socio-Political View

By Monir H. Tayeb | Go to book overview

Introduction

This book addresses major issues related to international enterprises and the world in which they operate from a socio-political perspective. There are many worthy publications in this field, mainly focused on the economic and managerial angles, and they have all been an inspiration behind the current book. The author has attempted to build a coherent picture of the ‘life’ of an international, indeed multinational, firm, from the factors which contribute to its birth and later to its ‘personal’ characteristics, to the myriad challenges that it faces once up and running. The book draws on the author's relevant theoretical and empirical research experience accumulated over two decades or so, and spanning a number of countries in Asia, Europe and north America. In addition, the research findings and theoretical arguments of other scholars are of course drawn and built upon. The intention throughout the book is to discuss and analyse the issues involved rather than to prescribe what multinational firms should or should not do; I shall not be so presumptuous. That is the prerogative of the managers and workforces of those firms, who, judging by the available evidence, are doing a fine job.

The book consists of two parts. Part I includes Chapters 1 to 4 and sets the scene for internationalisation. Chapter 1 discusses major historical and current economic, political and cultural factors that could lead to the competitive advantage of some nations over others in the international market. A discussion on the membership of global and regional political-economic organisations, a policy pursued by many countries, is also included here. The aim is to illustrate the way in which such policies could contribute to a nation's standing in the international market, and to examine whether or not those nations that are not part of regional or global organisations are at a disadvantage as a result. The chapter will include examples of both successful and unsuccessful nations to illustrate the relationship between the above factors and their current standing in the business world. The success of these nations will be judged according to both economic and non-economic indicators, such as the state of health, literacy rate, per capita income and energy, pattern of income distribution, presence of their companies and products in the international market, and the like.

Chapter 2 explores the notion of the home county as a launch pad for internationalisation. Nations are both homes and hosts to international firms. The first section of the chapter discusses the national factors,

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