Multinational Corporations



The growth of direct investment abroad, in particular the rise of the multinational corporation (MNC) has been one of the most significant economic developments of the last two decades. Up to the mid-1960s, the expansion of MNC activity was generally regarded as a favourable trend in the world economy. They were seen as potent agents for economic development through their promotion of a more equitable global distribution of productive capacity, technology, industrial output and income distribution. In the last few years, however, they have come in for a good deal of criticism from many quarters — from organised labour in countries where MNCs are based, by Marxist and neo-Marxist critics, by governments of LDCs. The Marxist critique is the well-known one about ‘Big Business’ and focuses attention on capitalist State patronage and solicitude for its industrial big battalions — the MNCs. The impact of the MNCs on Third World countries is grist for the mill as a specific area of imperialist muscle-power and ideological conflict.


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Further Reading

  1. R. J. Barnet and R. E. Müller, Global Reach: The Power of the Multinational Corporation (London: Cape, 1975 ). This is a well-documented critical study of multinational business activities.Google Scholar
  2. G. W. Bell (ed.), Global Companies: The Political Economy of World Business ( New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1975 ).Google Scholar
  3. P. J. Buckley and M. Casson, The Future of the Multinational Enterprise ( London: Macmillan, 1976 ).Google Scholar
  4. J. H. Dunning (ed.), The Multinational Enterprise ( London: Allen & Unwin, 1971 ).Google Scholar
  5. A collection of some of the leading articles in this field.Google Scholar
  6. H. G. Johnson, Technology and Economic Interdependence (London: Macmillan, 1975), chaps 4 and 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. A spirited defence of MNCs as agents of economic development.Google Scholar
  8. G. Paquet (ed.), Multinational Firm and Nation State ( London: Collier-Macmillan, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  9. G. L. Reuber et al., Private Foreign Investment in Development ( London: Oxford University Press, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  10. This study, sponsored by OECD, provides one of the most comprehensive surveys of the effects of foreign direct investment on economic development.Google Scholar
  11. K. P. Sauvant and F. G. Lavipour, Controlling Multinational Enterprises (London: Wilton House Publications, 1976 ). A collection of some recent articles and documents dealing with national and international attempts to regulate the activities of MNCs. It contains a fairly extensive bibliography.Google Scholar
  12. United Nations, Multinational Corporation in World Development ( New York: Dept of Economics and Social Affairs, 1974 ).Google Scholar
  13. This U.N. report is a very useful and informative reference book for the general reader.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Leonard Gomes 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middlesex PolytechnicUK

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