International Business

  • Gordon Boyce
  • Simon Ville


International business has occupied a prominent position in many economies in the twentieth century. Of the nations we are studying, America, Britain and Japan have been among the largest sources of international business, Australia, America and Britain some of its leading recipients. The globalisation of markets and technology, particularly in the 1990s, has increased dramatically the size and reach of many international firms and influenced the ways in which they organise their activities. The arrival of foreign firms can provide a stimulus to a nation’s economic development through flows of investment, technology, skills and knowledge. At the same time, receiver countries fear the threat to national self-determination and endogenous progress from large, and perhaps culturally alien, corporations. Sender nations are also sensitive to the likely loss of exports and leakage of competitive advantages as domestic firms move abroad. Thus, the activities of large powerful international firms have generated strong emotions regarding business ethics and the extent of their corporate responsibilities, particularly in small developing host economies. As multinationals increasingly cross cultures and continents in the twenty-first century, their relationships with their hosts have become a paramount issue. American firms like K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have recently learned some hard lessons about the obstacles to international expansion; what works at home often does not in the host nation (Box 10.3).


Foreign Direct Investment International Business Intangible Asset Entry Mode Home Economy 
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Further Reading

  1. Brash, D.T. (1966) American Investment in Australian Industry (Canberra: Australian National University Press).Google Scholar
  2. Buckley, P.J. (1983) ‘New Theories of International Business: Some Unresolved Issues’, in M. Casson (ed.), The Growth of International Business (London: Allen & Unwin).Google Scholar
  3. Dunning, J. (1993) Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy (Wokingham: Addison-Wesley).Google Scholar
  4. Jones, G. (1996) The Evolution of International Business. An Introduction (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  5. Porter, M.E. (1986) ‘Competition in Global Industries: A Conceptual Framework’, in M.E. Porter (ed.), Competition in Global Industries (Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press).Google Scholar
  6. Ville, S. (forthcoming) ‘Multinational Business Enterprise in the Australian Corporate Economy’, in C. Lloyd (ed.), Australian Institutions Transformed: Historical Perspectives on Capital, Labour and the State in the 20th Century.Google Scholar
  7. Wilkins, M. (1974) The Maturing of Multinational Enterprise: American Business Abroad from 1914 to 1970 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Gordon Boyce and Simon Ville 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Boyce
  • Simon Ville

There are no affiliations available

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