Transnational Corporations: Fragmentation Amidst Integration

By Grazia Ietto-Gillies | Go to book overview

6

Nation-states, regulatory regimesand TNCs' strategies

6.1Introduction
Part I of this book gives evidence of the remarkable growth in the number of TNCs worldwide and the range, size and impact of their activities. The evidence refers, in particular, to the considerable 'deepening' or 'intensity' of TNCs' activities and - indirectly - to their effects on the macro-economy. Part II starts in chapter three with the development of a framework for the analysis of the changing nature of business governance, the increasing fuzziness of the boundaries of the firm and the associated rise in a variety of business networks. It then goes on in chapters four and five to consider a specific type of network with a locational and ownership dimension. This emerges, in particular, from the location of subsidiaries and associates of TNCs across nation-states. Evidence is given for the largest world TNCs for the year 1997 as well as in relation to changes over time for the UK TNCs in manufacturing and mining. The spatial 'extensity' and thus the widening of activities are analysed in relation to the number of host nation-states in which companies operate. This is done through estimates of a 'Network Spread index'. The concentration of affiliates in host countries is also assessed via a Herfinolahl index. Thus part I shows that the TNCs have a strong role to play in all aspects of integration across countries. Part II gives evidence that their integrative role goes hand-in-hand with dispersion of production along organisational, locational and proprietary dimensions. These dispersion patterns contain elements of both integration and fragmentation across countries, as well as across organisations and production units. The salient features that emerge from chapters two, four and five, can be summarised in the following stylized facts.
1 Considerable increase in the number of companies directly operating across nation-states.
2 Very large growth in the volume of FDI and international production worldwide.
3 Most FDI is directed towards developed countries as well as originating from developed countries.

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