Multinationals and Global Capitalism: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century

By Geoffrey Jones | Go to book overview

5Services

5.1 Multinationals and services

The transportation, information, energy and financial infrastructure of the first global economy were put in place by business enterprises. They financed, insured and transported world trade in manufactures and resources. In subsequent generations, service enterprises renewed their role as the enablers of global capitalism. They sometimes performed central roles as coordinators of cross-border investments in manufacturing and resources.

The service sector is highly diffuse, and includes trade, finance, personal and business services, construction, transportation, communication, and public utilities. Not only do these different services have different characteristics, but in many cases they consist of subsectors which also differ considerably from each other. A further complexity arises from the distinction between FDI in services and FDI by service sector companies. Since the nineteenth century both manufacturing and petroleum companies have diversified into distribution and transportation, while service multinationals have diversified far beyond services.


5.2 Origins and growth

5.2.1 Trade and shipping

The range of international business in services in the nineteenth century was striking, but the large investments in trade and distribution were especially important. Manufacturing firms made numerous investments in sales and distribution companies in foreign markets to assist their exports. These investments often proved a first stage of multinational involvement, and were followed in time by assembly or production facilities.

The nineteenth century saw the growth of multinational trading companies which offered an alternative organizational form to the vertical integration of manufacturers and petroleum companies. The chartered trading companies of earlier centuries seldom outlived the withdrawal of their monopoly privileges. By 1914 the only survivor was the Hudson's Bay Company, which had evolved into a successful retailing business, although it only stopped trading in fur in 1991. However, there was a rapid spread of private merchants at the world's entrepots and ports. They were often part of wider family or

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Multinationals and Global Capitalism: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Multinationals and Global Capitalism iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures viii
  • List of Tables ix
  • List of Boxes x
  • Part I Frameworks 1
  • 1: Concepts 3
  • Summary 15
  • 2: Multinationals and Globalization 16
  • Summary 40
  • Part II Exploiting Opportunities 43
  • 3: Natural Resources 45
  • 4: Manufacturing 76
  • 5: Services 109
  • Part III Building Organizations 145
  • 6: Crossing Borders 147
  • 7: Managing Multinationals 166
  • Part Ivexternal Environment 199
  • 8: Public Policy 201
  • Part V Outcomes 229
  • 9: Multinationals and Home Economies 231
  • 10: Engines of Growth? 255
  • 11: Conclusions 285
  • Appendix 2 302
  • Bibliography 307
  • Index 329
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