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- To what extent have Japanese multinationals competed successfully in different international markets, and which major factors explain these achievements and shortcomings?
Whenever relevant and insightful, you are encouraged to make cross-industry and cross-country comparisons amongst Asia Pacific multinationals, and to employ lessons from
international business theory and research. Consider therefore a number of perspectives,
including the aims of multinationals and international business strategies; major differences
between industries and types of business; the degree of global versus regional control, and
changes in operational control over time; the competitive advantages or capabilities of
multinationals compared to those of rivals; variations in management, organization, and
operations between home country and host nations; the comparative abilities of Asia Pacific
multinationals to compete in various international locations, and their ability to adapt to changes
in policy and markets; and the policies of home and host governments, and their very different
Example of Analysis and Structure for Assignment
- What is the question, and how do you provide a precise answer? What is your overall
response, and then what analytical structure will you adopt to substantiate your stated
- When did the case/firm/industry move towards FDI? Where did the investment go? Are
there differences in FDI histories or patterns with other industries or countries? How and
when did a firm become an MNE or TNC? Why did firms decide to become
multinationals? What therefore was their strategy or motivation? Entry mode? Are
differences in strategy and capabilities because of timing of FDI, because manufacturers
are unlike services, or because multinationals come from different countries? To what
extent are choices and decisions related to existing FDI theories and approaches? Have
selected firms, industries or nations been market, efficiency, resource or asset seeking?
Are there different patterns in the timing, location, strategy and entry mode of
multinationals from different nations?
- How did MNEs, once they have decided to ‘multinational-ize’, succeed as
multinationals? What O advantages, capabilities or resources did they possess to
succeed, or what advantages, capabilities or resources did they need to acquire or
develop when ‘multinational-izing’? Does the case fit the OLI or the LLL framework
a. Production and operations? Management of global production chains, or SCM?
b. R&D, innovation?
c. Brand, design, product, and marketing? Distribution networks or relations?
d. Management skills and experience? Human resource management skills, training?
e. Building external networks and client relations, in host economies, as in service
f. Access to resources such as finance and capital? Or key supplies?
g. Management and organization. To what extent have strategic needs evolved after the
act of FDI, and how is this related to management, organisation, levels of centralization,
decentralization, or regionalization? Employment of expatriates v locals? Usefulness of
FDI theories and approaches?
h. Role of government in stimulating inward FDI, and allowing and supporting outward FDI?
Notion of institutional advantage? Political economy and macro-economic perspectives
in FDI theories and approaches?
i. Conclusion. AP multinationals have some common characteristics that have allowed
them to compete globally and in Europe, alongside companies from North America and
Europe? Or differences between AP nations fundamental? Japanese, Korean or
Chinese multinationals show very specific and important differences? Or differences
between industries more important? Or general trends in 1980s, 1990s, or since 2000
show similar pattern over time?