Multinational Enterprises: Organizational Strategies and Innovation in Heterogeneous Environments

Session organizers:

Andrea Ascani (A.Ascani@lse.ac.uk) and Luisa Gagliardi (luisa.gagliardi@unige.ch)


Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) are nowadays major economic and political actors in the global economy (Iammarino and McCann, 2013). Through the geographical fragmentation of their value chains and intra- and inter-firm networks MNEs capitalize on their ownership advantages by adopting firm-specific localization and internalization strategies. As such, MNEs can become central agents of economic change in recipient economies, contributing to the evolution of the regional mix of clusters (e.g. Delgado, Porter and Stern, 2015), the make-up of domestic skills (e.g. Gagliardi, Iammarino and Rodriguez Pose, 2015) and the generation of new knowledge and innovation (e.g. Ascani and Gagliardi, 2015).

At the same time, not only MNEs affect recipient contexts, but heterogeneous locational profiles influence their corporate strategies.  This session welcomes both theoretical and empirical contributions that focus on MNEs organizational strategies, their determinants and their consequences for recipient economies, with a specific focus on innovative activities.

We are interested in original research that analyses why and how MNEs combine entry modes, degrees of control and management practices across the portfolio of available locations, and how their strategic behavior impacts domestic actors, including firms and employees, operating in the recipient contexts. The main aim of this session is to uncover the rationale behind the multitude of functional and geographical configurations that emerge from the interplay between heterogeneous firms and contexts. We encourage contributions that highlight the broader implications of their findings in terms of both (regional) policy lessons and (corporate) organizational practices.