Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise

  • Peter J. Buckley
  • Mark Casson


This chapter compares and contrasts the theory expounded in Chapter 2 with alternative theories of the MNE. Our review is confined to theories which focus on the impact of the market environment on the multinationalism of individual firms. Questions concerning the aggregate impact of multinationalism on trade and investment flows are not considered.


Foreign Direct Investment Foreign Investment Direct Investment Alternative Theory Multinational Enterprise 
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  1. 1.
    The seminal work is S. Hymer, ‘The International Operations of International Firms: A Study of Direct Investment’, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1960.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
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    H. G. Johnson, ‘The Efficiency and Welfare Implications of the International Corporation’, in The International Corporation, ed. C. P. Kindleberger (Cambridge, Mass., 1970).Google Scholar
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    See R. Z. Aliber, ‘A Theory of Direct Investment’, in The International Corporation, ed. C. P. Kindleberger (Cambridge, Mass., 1970), pp. 17–34; and The Multinational Enterprise in a Multiple Currency World’, The Multinational Enterprise, ed. J. H. Dunning (London, 1971), pp. 49–56.Google Scholar
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    This theory is implicit in several recent works on the MNE. For an early development of these ideas see E. A. G. Robinson, ‘The Problem of Management and the Size of Firms’, Economic Journal, 44 (1934), 242–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    R. Vernon, ‘International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 80(1966), 190–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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© Peter J. Buckley and Mark Christopher Casson 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Buckley
  • Mark Casson

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