Multinational corporations & regional strategy: A literature review

Oscar Franklin

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Globalisation has become a widespread phenomenon over the past two decade in the sense that no one is surprised any more to find world brands in the most remote places of the world. The exposure from large multinational companies’ product portfolios has become everyday reality for most people around the world (Hindle 2009). Strategizing globally has for the last decades been the buzzword for multinational companies (MNC) in order to exploit synergies and arbitrage across regions and achieving global success (Ghemawat 2005, Levitt 1983). However, during the past years global strategies have been subject of extensive criticism from researchers who argue that despite the trend of globalization there are few MNCs that are in fact global, but rather seem to strategize and structure regionally. The emergence of this regional theory has in recent years gained momentum within the field of MNC research and many new findings and theoretical concepts have emerged that have challenged the establishment. This polarization of MNC theory creates a current theoretical state that is unfocused and many new concepts have emerged. (Rugman, Verbeke 2004a, Rugman, Verbeke 2008, Benito, Narula & Grogaard 2003) Thus, based as a literature review this paper identifies key dimensions of regional strategy for MNCs and offer a thematic review of this construct primarily from a contingency perspective and provide an overview of the relationship between environment, strategy and structure also revealing a lacuna in industry related research and suggest more research being focused on degree of commoditization of products and services provided by the MNC as well as a new focus of research on emerging global suppliers. The findings of this paper suggest that harmonization in measurement is needed to elevate the research within MNCs and regional strategies as well as more industry based analysis to avoid measuring apples and pears in an important strategic field of international strategy.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2010
Number of pages77