Cover: Storm over the Multinationals: The Real Issues, from Harvard University PressCover: Storm over the Multinationals in E-DITION

Storm over the Multinationals

The Real Issues

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E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674499539

Publication Date: 01/01/1977

260 pages

World

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Multinational enterprises—what they are and the challenge they pose to national objectives—have never been so clearly delineated. Raymond Vernon cuts through polemic and propaganda to place in perspective the spread of large companies from their home bases to foreign countries. He draws upon the variety of recent studies and his own vast scholarly endeavors and firsthand experience to answer such questions as: Are multinational enterprises and nation-states incompatible in goals and outlook? Should their economic (and political) behavior differ in underdeveloped countries as compared to modernized states?

After reviewing the growing interrelationships of the world’s economies, Vernon takes a close-up look at multinationals, commenting on their size, business activity, and patterns of management and control. He identifies the real problems these large enterprises generate, sorting them out from the ills that are associated with industrialization in general. He traces these problems in the developing world and in industrialized countries. In the process, he explores the ramifications of the multinational double identity—each enterprise must comport itself as a national of the country that sanctioned its creation, while at the same time it must respond to the link that ties it to units of the same company in other countries.

Finally, Vernon reviews proposals that have been made to alter the relationship between the enterprises and their host countries, and he suggests scenarios for the future. The issues run deep and the threat of conflict grows, he asserts, and if policymakers hope to deal constructively with problems associated with multinational enterprises, they will have to recognize some of the basic difficulties that have so far blocked progress. His book, by setting forth the issues clearly and without special pleading, makes significant progress in pointing the way to solutions.

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Books influence us in untold ways, and the ones that influence us the most are often read in childhood. Harvard University Press Senior Editor Julia Kirby is reminded of this on the anniversary of the birth of one of this country’s most celebrated economists. This month would have brought Thomas Schelling’s one-hundredth birthday—and he got closer to seeing it than many mortals. The Nobel laureate economist died just five years ago, after a brilliant career as both a scholar and an advisor to US foreign policy strategists. What better day to dip into his classic work