Strategies and methodologies in international business and comparative management research.
During the past two decades international business operations Business operations are those activities involved in the running of a business for the purpose of producing value for the stakeholders. Compare business processes. The outcome of business operations is the harvesting of value from assets have become massive in scale and are continuing their rapid expansion. Corrolary to this development is the ever increasing flow of publications that deal with a wide range of issues concerning international business and comparative management. The research effort which they reflect focuses, on the one hand, on the operations of multinational corporations
Perceptible, as by the faculty of vision or the intellect. See Synonyms at perceptible.
dis·cerni·bly adv. . In addition, the strategies and methodologies that researchers apply in the pursuit of knowledge in this area are very similar. This article focuses thus on the research effort in this broad domain and its purpose is a) to review selectively research on international business and comparative management issues from a methodological point of view, b) to evaluate the used techniques of inquiry in the light of the substantive-theoret significance of the findings, and c) to point out trends and research gaps.
The Magnitude of International Business and Comparative Management Research
The vast scope of the stated purpose becomes obvious if one reflects on the ever increasing number of publications that deal with a large variety of issues pertaining per·tain
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.
2. to international business and comparative management. The most extensive, specialized reference guide in this area is The International Executive, an abstract published since 1959 on a quarterly basis. The following Table 1 summarizes the number of publications that were referenced since 1959 when the field received a major impetus with the publication of Harbison and Myer's Management in the Industrial World and then with John Fayerweather's book Management of International Operations Internal Operations (I.O., IO or I/O) is a fictional American Intelligence Agency in Wildstorm comics. It was originally called International Operations. I.O. first appeared in WildC.A.T.S. volume 1 #1 (August, 1992) and was created by Brandon Choi and Jim Lee. in 1960. These two books can now be considered as pathbreaking path·break·ing
Characterized by originality and innovation; pioneering. and they provide a perspective for the remarkable proliferation proliferation /pro·lif·er·a·tion/ (pro-lif?er-a´shun) the reproduction or multiplication of similar forms, especially of cells.prolif´erativeprolif´erous
n. of the international business and the comparative management literature in the intervening twelve years.
The most significant publications tend to be referenced under the "general management" label and the figures in Table 1 reflect the growing number of contributors. Whereas only ten years ago a very small group of scholars were doing research on international business topics, this number has grown remarkably since then. It seems therefore appropriate to do some stock-taking of the development and present state of the field from a research point of view.
The Research Orientations
The very broad range of international business publications with a diversity of foci is difficult to classify(1). However, assuming that any contribution to the field that enhances knowledge may be called research one can, as a first approximation approximation /ap·prox·i·ma·tion/ (ah-prok?si-ma´shun)
1. the act or process of bringing into proximity or apposition.
2. a numerical value of limited accuracy. , group the research effort and the resultant publications into two broad categories: a) Those that aim primarily at the establishment of a theory by advocating various models, conceptual frameworks For the concept in aesthetics and art criticism, see .
A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to a system analysis project. or typologies that can be used for developing hypotheses and for verifying or codifying relevant knowledge on international business and comparative management. b) Those that present primarily empirically derived information A parameter such as angle, range, position, velocity, etc. is said to be derived in the first receiver or other sensor in which that parameter exists or is capable of existing without reference to further information. by describing, analyzing and evaluating factual data on international business issues.
Each of these two major research orientations has in turn various sub-categories. On the theory-building side the existing research publications can be grouped into two categories. There is, on the one hand, an endeavor to conceptualize con·cep·tu·al·ize
v. con·cep·tu·al·ized, con·cep·tu·al·iz·ing, con·cep·tu·al·iz·es
To form a concept or concepts of, and especially to interpret in a conceptual way: , i. e., to develop models, frameworks or typologies as an aid for the systematic detection, explanation and evaluation of international business phenomena. The function of such a research approach is to assist deductive de·duc·tive
1. Of or based on deduction.
2. Involving or using deduction in reasoning.
de·duc elaboration and the confirmation or refutation ref·u·ta·tion also re·fut·al
1. The act of refuting.
2. Something, such as an argument, that refutes someone or something.
Noun 1. of theoretical-abstract constructs by suggesting hypotheses for testing. On the other band, there is a research approach which can be characterized as a synthesizing effort, i. e., a systematic and classificatory grouping of relevant pieces of information for the purpose of providing a broad general perspective of the state of knowledge on international business and comparative management.
The empirically-oriented research publications can first be divided into one-dimensional and multi-dimensional studies depending on their scope and the number of issues they deal with. One-dimensional studies are those that focus only on one, narrow subject without regard for related issues. Multi-dimensional studies are broader in scope and encompass several related issues. Within each of these two subcategories of empirical research Noun 1. empirical research - an empirical search for knowledge
inquiry, research, enquiry - a search for knowledge; "their pottery deserves more research than it has received" one finds essentially three types of approaches that can be referred to as a) descriptive, b) analytical-interpretive, and c) generalizing-normative. Descriptive studies are those that present primary data and empirically verified facts without much concern for analysis and the determination of cause-effect relationships or other interdependencies. Analytical-interpretive studies aim not only at presenting empirically derived facts or observations but also to evaluate and interpret them frequently in the light of established hypotheses. The generalizing-normative research studies also tend to have an "empirical core" which is, however, primarily used as a means to generalize generalize /gen·er·al·ize/ (-iz)
1. to spread throughout the body, as when local disease becomes systemic.
2. to form a general principle; to reason inductively. or for making normative nor·ma·tive
Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard: normative grammar.
nor , prescriptive pre·scrip·tive
1. Sanctioned or authorized by long-standing custom or usage.
2. Making or giving injunctions, directions, laws, or rules.
3. Law Acquired by or based on uninterrupted possession. assertions.
The following scheme is then the summary of a typology typology /ty·pol·o·gy/ (ti-pol´ah-je) the study of types; the science of classifying, as bacteria according to type.
the study of types; the science of classifying, as bacteria according to type. that was used for the purpose of this paper to classify and to analyze international business and comparative management research:
Theoretical-Abstract International Business Research
A theory is generally defined as "a systematically related set of statements, including some lawlike generalizations, that are empirically testable"(2). The basic purpose of any theory is to provide a framework for a systematic analysis and codification The collection and systematic arrangement, usually by subject, of the laws of a state or country, or the statutory provisions, rules, and regulations that govern a specific area or subject of law or practice. of the existing stock of knowledge in a given field. In addition, a theory serves as a guide for the selection of problems for fruitful research and it thus helps promote the process of cumulative growth of knowledge which either confirms or forces a revision of a given theory. From a methodological point of view a theory can be developed in a deductive (i. e., from the general to the particular) or in an inductive inductive
1. eliciting a reaction within an organism.
a form of radiofrequency hyperthermia that selectively heats muscle, blood and proteinaceous tissue, sparing fat and air-containing tissues. (i. e., from the particular to the general) fashion. As far as theoretical approaches to international business and comparative management are concerned one finds both approaches. The deductive approach is reflected in the various models and conceptual frameworks that have been advocated and one can therefore refer to it as conceptualizing. The inductive approach, starting with a variety of informational inputs and then integrating them systematically to form a whole, can be referred to as synthesizing.
Initially, the major impetus in the international business and comparative management field came from a few conceptualizing studies. Their primary aim was to establish deterministic 1. (probability) deterministic - Describes a system whose time evolution can be predicted exactly.
2. (algorithm) deterministic - Describes an algorithm in which the correct next step depends only on the current state. patterns of interrelationships among specified sets of management-relevant variables in an international business context. A pioneering work in this regard was Harbison and Myers' conceptual framework for a cross-cultural investigation of the management situation from three points of view: management as a resource and the intensity of its utilization, management as a system of authority, and management as a class or elite. This scheme was then used as a basis of describing and analyzing the management situation in twelve countries; in a concluding chapter it was also applied for an analysis of the role of the multinational enterprise(3). Another conceptual framework with a macroorientation is Negandhi and Prasad's attempt to view management effectiveness In management, the ultimate measure of management's performance is the metric of management effectiveness which includes:
A conceptual framework focusing exclusively on operational phenomena of multinational firms has been advanced by John Fayerweather which stresses four major areas of concern: 1. the process of transmitting corporate resources across national boundaries; 2. the structuring of the interactions with host societies in which multinational corporations operate; 3. the management of conflict situations, particularly those that arise within the individual multinational enterprise in response to tendencies toward a fragmentation or unification (programming) unification - The generalisation of pattern matching that is the logic programming equivalent of instantiation in logic. When two terms are to be unified, they are compared. of business strategies; 4. the issue of organizing and administering a multinational firm(6).
A conceptual scheme concentrating on behavioral aspects of multinational firms has been advocated by Howard Perlmutter. It attempts to classify multinational firms on account of their basic operating strategy which may be either ethnocentric eth·no·cen·trism
1. Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group.
2. Overriding concern with race.
eth , polycentric polycentric /poly·cen·tric/ (-sen´trik) having many centers. , or geocentric ge·o·cen·tric
1. Relating to, measured from, or with respect to the center of the earth.
2. Having the earth as a center.
ge . An ethnocentric strategy means that the top management of a multinational firm attempts to implement the values, policies and sentiments of the parent company regardless of environmental differences that effect foreign operations. A polycentric strategy, on the other hand, emphasizes environmental differences and reflects a deliberate choice by the parent company to make foreign operations as local in identity as possible. The geocentric strategy reflects a truly global outlook; it recognizes environmental differences but prescribes the interrelationships with the external conditions on a purely functional This article is written like a personal reflection or and may require .
Please [ improve this article] by rewriting this article in an . basis without any preconceived notion Noun 1. preconceived notion - an opinion formed beforehand without adequate evidence; "he did not even try to confirm his preconceptions"
parti pris, preconceived idea, preconceived opinion, preconception, prepossession of omniscience Omniscience
shrewd god; knew everything in advance. [Babylonian Myth.: Gilgamesh]
knows all: past, present, and future. at the home office or at the foreign subsidiary. Perlmutter's most fundamental postulated pos·tu·late
tr.v. pos·tu·lat·ed, pos·tu·lat·ing, pos·tu·lates
1. To make claim for; demand.
2. To assume or assert the truth, reality, or necessity of, especially as a basis of an argument.
3. hypothesis is that an ethnocentric as well as a polycentric approach are more prone to give rise to conflict situations than a geocentric approach which, ceteris paribus Ceteris Paribus
Latin phrase that translates approximately to "holding other things constant" and is usually rendered in English as "all other things being equal". In economics and finance, the term is used as a shorthand for indicating the effect of one economic variable on , leads to a maximization of organizational effectiveness Organizational effectiveness is the concept of how effective an organization is in achieving the outcomes the organization intends to produce. The idea of organizational effectiveness is especially important for non-profit organizations as most people who donate money to non-profit (7).
A conceptual approach put forward by Endel J. Kolde and Richard E. Hill starts like the Farmer-Richman model from the premise that multinational firms operate under diverse environmental conditions. Consequently, their organization structure must encompass a) a nationally and culturally decentralized de·cen·tral·ize
v. de·cen·tral·ized, de·cen·tral·iz·ing, de·cen·tral·iz·es
1. To distribute the administrative functions or powers of (a central authority) among several local authorities. base designed to deal with different external conditions through strong autonomous subentities, and b) a centralized cen·tral·ize
v. cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing, cen·tral·iz·es
1. To draw into or toward a center; consolidate.
2. superstructure superstructure /su·per·struc·ture/ (soo´per-struk?chur) the overlying or visible portion of a structure.
A structure above the surface. in order to achieve coordination throughout the whole organization. Coordination requires effective communication which, in turn, on comparability of standards, rapid control and multiple management. For each of these basic issues Kolde and Hill postulate postulate: see axiom. "propositions" or hypotheses such as: 'the plurality The opinion of an appellate court in which more justices join than in any concurring opinion.
The excess of votes cast for one candidate over those votes cast for any other candidate.
Appellate panels are made up of three or more justices. and diversity of external factors make it necessary that any national or continental suborganizations of a multinational company possess the power to solve problems and issues which are peculiar to their domicile domicile (dŏm`əsīl'), one's legal residence. This may or may not be the place where one actually resides at any one time. The domicile is the permanent home to which one is presumed to have the intention of returning whenever the purpose . Decentralization de·cen·tral·ize
v. de·cen·tral·ized, de·cen·tral·iz·ing, de·cen·tral·iz·es
1. To distribute the administrative functions or powers of (a central authority) among several local authorities. , therefore, is fundamental for international management"(8).
Conceptualizing studies in international business and comparative management are few in numbers in numbered parts; as, a book published in numbers.
See also: Number . Initially, when the field was developing, the various models and conceptional framework attracted considerable attention. However, they never became the nucleus for systematic and extensive empirical research. A major reason for this situation is that these various theoretical constructs are -- regardless of their specific orientation - very global and their proponents did not succeed in operationalizing them. The inability to operationalize and to establish a set of consistent hypotheses as well as to find clear empirical evidence for their validity is the single most severe criticism that applies to all of the theoretical conceptual frameworks that have been advocated thus far. For none of the constructs do we have substantial empirical verifications(9) and none led to the formation of a particular "school". Consequently, one finds in the international business and comparative management field a situation which is characterized by a lack of interaction between theorizing at the conceptual level and the empirical work that is being pursued. By and large the empirical international business research is based on ad hoc For this purpose. Meaning "to this" in Latin, it refers to dealing with special situations as they occur rather than functions that are repeated on a regular basis. See ad hoc query and ad hoc mode. , expedient ex·pe·di·ent
1. Appropriate to a purpose.
a. Serving to promote one's interest: was merciful only when mercy was expedient.
b. frameworks of analysis but not on the existing global theoretical constructs. These global theoretical frameworks are generally deficient de·fi·cient
1. Lacking an essential quality or element.
2. Inadequate in amount or degree; insufficient.
a state of being in deficit. in two respects: a) they did not lead to detailed, operational hypotheses, and b) they also failed to serve a synthesizing function in the sense that they could be used to systematize sys·tem·a·tize
tr.v. sys·tem·a·tized, sys·tem·a·tiz·ing, sys·tem·a·tiz·es
To formulate into or reduce to a system: "The aim of science is surely to amass and systematize knowledge" and to integrate the empirically verified data.
At present, the majority of the theoretically oriented o·ri·ent
1. Orient The countries of Asia, especially of eastern Asia.
a. The luster characteristic of a pearl of high quality.
b. A pearl having exceptional luster.
3. international business and comparative management studies aim at synthesizing the state of the art of the field or at least certain dimensions of it. The purpose of these studies is to present research results and the essential, relevant issues without adherence to a particular methodological approach.
The scope of these studies is either very broad providing a survey of the whole field or relatively narrow by concentrating, for example, on a functional area such as international marketing or a specific set of issues such as the interface between multinational business activities and national governmental interests. A synthesizing study with a broad orientation is, for example, Roy Blough's International Business: Environment and Adaptation which focuses on three broad sets of environmental factors and their influence on international business operations: governmental policies, cultural characteristics of a country and its stage of economic -development. Throughout this study there is an emphasis on the importance of becoming aware of environmental conditions and on the development of business strategies that are in congruence con·gru·ence
a. Agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence.
b. An instance of this: "What an extraordinary congruence of genius and era" with these external constraints(10). Blough considers governmental policies as the major environmental factor that is conditioning international management activities -- an emphasis that is also reflected in several studies by Jack N. Behrman and Ray Vernon. Two books by Behrman deal in a theoretical, synthesizing manner with the legal and political constraints imposed on multinational business organizations. Behrman's essential emphasis is on the necessity for a kind of passive, adaptive behavior Adaptive behavior is a type of behavior that is used to adapt to another type of behavior or situation. This is often characterized by a kind of behavior that allows an individual to substitute an unconstructive or disruptive behavior to something more constructive. to environmental conditions and on cooperative business-government relationships(11). The same set of issues is dealt with by Ray Vernon who does not, however, perceive the multinational corporations as relatively helpless against the assertions of national sovereignty by the host governments. In fact, the basic stress of Vernon's analysis is on the impediments IMPEDIMENTS, contracts. Legal objections to the making of a contract. Impediments which relate to the person are those of minority, want of reason, coverture, and the like; they are sometimes called disabilities. Vide Incapacity.
2. of national interests and national sovereignty by multinational business organizations. In this sense, Vernon perceives the existing power balance between multinational firms and governmental authorities differently from Blough and Behrman but he comes then essentially to the same normative conclusions(12). A functional approach to a synthesis of international business knowledge has been used by Robinson(13) and Dymsza(14). Both focus on the basic strategic decisions in the various functional areas and present the issues in a descriptive-normative manner. The same methodological approach is used in a number of studies that concentrate on one particular functional area such as international marketing(15) or international financial management(16).
Studies in international business and comparative management that are clearly aimed at providing some form of synthesis of the state of knowledge have the merit that they show the range of issues researchers and practitioners are faced with. Most of these studies are, however, eclectic e·clec·tic
1. Selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, or styles: an eclectic taste in music; an eclectic approach to managing the economy.
2. in the sense that no attempt toward a systematic inclusion of the existing empirical studies Empirical studies in social sciences are when the research ends are based on evidence and not just theory. This is done to comply with the scientific method that asserts the objective discovery of knowledge based on verifiable facts of evidence. is made. Another criticism that can be made concerning the existing synthesizing studies is their lack of uniformity from a methodological point of view. A comparative review of the conceptualizing and synthesizing studies in international business leads one to the conclusion that they are largely independent of each other instead of mutually supportive.
Empirical International Business Research
The large majority of the international business publications can be characterized as empirical research in the sense that they present newly generated or newly analyzed factual information. Depending on the scope and the complexity of the investigated issues one can distinguish between one-dimensional and multi-dimensional studies. One-dimensional studies are those which focus on a narrow, distinctly defined subject, whereas multi-dimensional studies deal with a spectrum of related issues.
More important than the differentiation between one- and multi-dimensional as a classifying criterion is the aim of the empirical research effort and the way the findings are presented. In this regard one can distinguish between a) descriptive, b) analytical-interpretive and c) generalizing-normative studies. The aim of descriptive research Descriptive research, also known as statistical research, describes data and characteristics about the population or phenomenon being studied. Descriptive research answers the questions who, what, where, when and how. studies is the presentation of factual information. Analytical-interpretive studies go further and attempt to classify, to explain and to evaluate newly generated knowledge in the light of established hypotheses or in the light of existing, related research findings. Generalizing-normative studies try to draw from the empirical results generalizations in an attempt to distinguish the invariant (programming) invariant - A rule, such as the ordering of an ordered list or heap, that applies throughout the life of a data structure or procedure. Each change to the data structure must maintain the correctness of the invariant. from the variant, the stable and continuing from the fluctuating fluc·tu·ate
v. fluc·tu·at·ed, fluc·tu·at·ing, fluc·tu·ates
1. To vary irregularly. See Synonyms at swing.
2. To rise and fall in or as if in waves; undulate.
v. and transistory. On this basis, then, researchers tend to make normative assertions which in turn form the basis for implicit or explicit predictions in the sense that, if the conditions under which the generalization gen·er·al·i·za·tion
1. The act or an instance of generalizing.
2. A principle, a statement, or an idea having general application. is valid persist, so will the generalization.
The means by which empirical information is collected -- such as questionnaire surveys or interviews -- would provide a third set of criteria for classifying international business research. However, a very large number of the empirical studies use a variety of methodological approaches and are thus not very useful from a classificatory point of view.
An analysis of the publications that were referenced in The International Executive under the headings of general management, marketing, public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most , industrial relations industrial relations
Relations between the management of an industrial enterprise and its employees.
the relations between management and workers , finance and accounting since 1959, indicated that about three-fourths of the publications could be catalogued as "empirical" and the rest as "theoretical". Among the empirical studies about two-thirds were one-dimensional and one-third multi-dimensional. Thirty-five percent of all the studies classified as "empirical" are essentially descriptive; forty-five percent can be characterized as analytical-interpretive and the remaining twenty percent as generalizing-normative. Since various reviewers may well classify some of the empirical studies differently, no particular emphasis is placed on these quantitative results; they only serve to show in broad terms the relative research emphasis in international business since 1959. The following sections present a selective sample of studies that may be viewed either as typical or as significant studies in the descriptive, analytical, and generalizing categories.
In recent years an increasing percentage of the empirical studies in international business and comparative management are essentially descriptive studies with a rather narrow scope. They tend to report the results of an investigation that focused on a particular question such as the survey by Gaedeke and Lazar on "How Multinational Businessmen View Trade Restrictions A trade restriction is an artificial restriction on the trade of goods between two countries. It is the result of protectionism. However, the term is not uncontroversial since what one part may see as a trade restriction another may see as a way to protect consumers from inferior, ?"(17). This study is based on a questionnaire survey that was sent to 100 companies of which 21 actually responded by indicating their perception of the affects of tariffs on their firms' international business activities. The responding companies belong to a variety of industries and the results of the survey are in no way representative, and the whole survey of questionable value.
A large segment of the descriptive studies deal with financial issues -- investigating, for instance, the sources of funds used by multinational firms(18), financial control systems(19), or capital budgeting procedures(20). A study by Stobaugh concerned with the sources of finance used by multinational firms is based on data provided by 39 U.S.-based multinational corporations. Apart from the documentation of the wide variety of sources of funds that multinational firms use, the study shows differences in the financial structure between parent company and its foreign subsidiaries. The investigation by McInnes on financial control systems presents data provided by 30 U.S. firms and its main finding is that modifications to financial control caused by a multi-national environment are not extensive. Similarly, Stonehill and Nathanson found with regard to capital budgeting decisions that a majority of the 110 firms which they investigated did not differentiate between foreign and domestic investments, thus using the same decision criteria for both.
A large percentage of the descriptive studies focus on personnel issues such as the selection, compensation, and development of international executives. For instance, a study by Edwin L. Miller summarizes the results of a questionnaire survey among 45 executives in three companies on the criteria they use for selecting managers for foreign assignments(21). My own study on the compensation of foreign service employees and third country nationals is based upon an investigation by questionnaires and interviews among twelve U.S. multinational firms(22). Another descriptive study on personnel issues is the one by Ivancevich and Baker on the job satisfaction of American managers with foreign assignment and present the results of a questionnaire survey among a random sample of 127 top and middle managers(23). Many of the descriptive studies on personnel issues are comparative and focus on such topics as managerial attitudes, leadership and motivation in organizations(24). Practically all of these studies are based on very small, nonrepresentative samples.
In comparison with other functional areas, one finds a relatively small percentage of descriptive studies on international marketing issues. An example is, however, the investigation by Aylmer on the question of who makes marketing decisions in the multinational firm. This study reports on the information provided by 9 U.S. firms and 26 of their European affiliates which indicated that product design decisions tend to be centralized and made at the U.S. headquarter head·quar·ter
v. head·quar·tered, head·quar·ter·ing, head·quar·ters Usage Problem
To provide with headquarters: level, whereas with regard to advertising, distribution and pricing decisions the foreign affiliates play the decisive role(25).
A critical analysis of a large number of the empirical research studies in international business that can be placed into the "descriptive" category leads one to the conclusion that these studies are generally one-dimensional, i. e. narrow in scope, and they tend to be based on a relatively small sample from which the empirical data are derived. In addition, the information is in most cases gathered by means of questionnaire surveys among a randomly selected sample. In general, these descriptive studies are not directed toward the refutation or confirmation of specified hypotheses and thus their potential contribution to theory development is impaired. Since the sample tends to be rather small, the statistical analysis too is generally limited and superficial. One might deplore de·plore
tr.v. de·plored, de·plor·ing, de·plores
1. To feel or express strong disapproval of; condemn: "Somehow we had to master events, not simply deplore them" the fact that during the years 1970 through 1972 publication of merely descriptive studies on international business issues grew more rapidly than research publications with an analytical or normative orientation.
The proportionally largest number of the empirical studies in international business and comparative management can be characterized as analytical-interpretive. These studies are frequently multi-dimensional and go beyond a largely descriptive presentation of the investigated factual situation and emphasize explanations and evaluations. An important study in this category is, for instance, Haire, Ghiselli and Porter's comparative investigation of managerial attitudes, motivations, satisfactions, and functions(26). The study is based on a questionnaire survey to which 3641 managers in 14 countries responded. A major result of the analysis of the data was the determination that 28 per cent of the observed variations concerning the three broad research issues could be associated with national groupings and could thus be characterized as "culture-bound" whereas for the remaining 72 percent of the differences no clear pattern could be established.
Similar in orientation but broader in scope and still an ongoing investigation is centered on a systematic, comparative investigation of managerial behavior whereby the research data are generated by registering the reactions of managers to a set of standardized standardized
pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.
standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.
standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate. case situations. A broad range of results have been published in an array of technical reports(27) which must be recognized as significant contributions to an evolving international business and comparative management theory.
Important analytical-interpretive studies focusing on the strategies of multinational enterprises are, for instance, the investigations by Brooke and Remmers, Lawrence Franko, and Wickham Skinner. Brooke and Remmers investigated organizational patterns and financial strategies of about 100 multinational firms based in the U.S. and in various European countries and their study shows that from the point of view of strategy implementation medium size firms exert the relatively strictest control over their foreign operations(28). The same situation is reflected in the results of a questionnaire survey by Lawrence Franko among 30 European-based multinational firms concerning the operating strategies of their U.S. subsidiaries(29). Skinner's analysis of key strategies of 13 U.S.-based firms vis-a-vis their foreign affiliates in six less developed countries emphasized particularly the breakdowns in home office-field unit relationships(30). The analytical-interpretive category has also a large number of one-dimensional studies, i. e. those centered essentially on only one issue. The most significant of these are an outgrowth of dissertation dis·ser·ta·tion
A lengthy, formal treatise, especially one written by a candidate for the doctoral degree at a university; a thesis.
1. research; for example, Warren Keegan's study on the international business acquisition process for which the information was derived through interviews with about 50 senior executives from 13 U.S.-based multinational firms. Keegan's study documents the sources of international business intelligence that are most frequently used as bases for decision-making(31). Another study in this category is John M. Stopford's investigation of the evolution of organization structures of 170 U.S.-based multinational corporations; this study provides evidence that a dynamic international expansion of a firm is associated with a replacement of the international division as organizing concept by an organization construct centered on worldwide product division. Essentially, Stopford's study shows that a firm's international business success is largely the result of its organizational competence(32). Lawrence Franko's study on the stability of international joint ventures with foreign partners is also the outgrowth of doctoral research and is based on information provided by 170 U.S. firms. This study established that the tolerance for joint ventures with foreign partners is a function of a firm's organizational setup and its stage in the development as multinational enterprise(33). Another significant dissertation research effort focusing on an in-depth investigation of one firm's endeavor to explore the feasibility of an international joint venture with a foreign government is Ashok Kapoor's account of the intracies and difficulties of the international business negotiation process(34).
A review of the analytical-interpretive international business research leads one to the awareness that one- and multi-dimensional studies are strongly represented. In general, the data base for the analytical-interpretive studies tends to be broader than among the descriptive studies and the investigations show a much greater attention to detail. The information is usually sought by means of questionnaire surveys and interviews. The investigation itself is frequently guided by theoretical concepts and the analysis of the findings includes a comparison with the results of other relevant studies. For the large majority of the studies the data are from U.S. firms only; another limitation is that the evidence is generally drawn from a heterogeneous sample of cases with apparently little concern for representativeness. In addition, many of these studies do not specify in detail how the empirical information was obtained and thus are impairing possibilities for replication.
A relatively small segment of the studies in international business and comparative management is aimed at providing empirical evidence mainly for the purpose of generalizing about a selected issue and for normatively prescribing a certain mode of behavior designed to optimize international business effectiveness. Studies in this category thus present "exemplary" evidence as a basis for making generalizations or normative assertions. A significant study in this category is, for instance, Peter Gabriel's account of the use of international management contracts as an alternative to conventional forms of foreign direct investments(35). This study describes the case situations of four different management contracts, but the essential thrust of the analysis is to show how management contracts can be used as a form of corporate international business activity in countries or regions with high investment risks. In a variety of publications Peter Gabriel Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950, in Chobham, Surrey, England) is an English musician. He first came to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career. "prescribes" international management contracts as an effective form for dealing with economic nationalism Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. and for meeting the demands of developing countries for locally owned business operations while, nevertheless, generating revenues for the multinational firm as contractor. Similarly, Geoffry Kean uses empirical evidence as a basis for prescribing how multinational firms should carry out their public relations function(36), and John Kraemer uses his experience for generalizing about market research in developing countries(37). Warren Keegan, in an important article, presented a number of cases for showing in general terms the possible alternatives for product and promotional strategies in multinational manufacturing firms(38). An equally important article by David Rutenberg prescribes modes for the management of working capital on a global scale(39).
There is a small but important group of empirical research studies on international business issues that can be characterized as generalizing-normative because the researchers use the factual evidence selectively mainly for generalizing and for prescribing certain actions or behavior patterns in the pursuit of international business effectiveness.
During the past fifteen years empirical research in international business and comparative management has attracted considerable attention. An ever increasing number of scholars are engaged in some form of research and their effort is reflected in a massive and rapidly growing amount of publications. The question now is: what does all this add up to? What is its real significance?
A Critical Evaluation: An Attempt
A systematic review and critical analysis of the mass of international business and comparative management research is too great a task -- particularly within the confines con·fine
v. con·fined, con·fin·ing, con·fines
1. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit. of a single paper. The main aim of the attempted evaluation is thus to state a series of observations and broad judgments on conditions in international business research and on the relevance of the research results.
1. International business research in the sense of a systematized effort to gain new knowledge has two major orientations: empirical and theoretical-abstract. Concerning the latter one can again distinguish between a conceptualizing and a synthesizing effort. As of now one detects hardly any form of interdependence in·ter·de·pen·dent
Mutually dependent: "Today, the mission of one institution can be accomplished only by recognizing that it lives in an interdependent world with conflicts and overlapping interests" or mutual support between the various research orientations. Theoretical-abstract frameworks did not provide the focal point focal point
See focus. or the impetus for extensive empirical research and they have not been used as a framework for integrating or synthesizing the multitude of empirical research findings that were generated by a variety of approaches. For example, the theorizing efforts by Farmer and Richman, Fayerweather, or Vernon have up to now had little influence on the actual direction of empirical research in the international business and comparative management field. It is the traditional management and organization theory which provides the essential guidance for empirical investigations on international management issues. The research on these issues is pursued along various dimensions which tend to be independent of each other, instead of being interactive and mutually supportive. At present one perceives clearly a lack of indigenous theoretical guidance for the empirically-oriented research effort in international business and comparative management.
2. A large percentage of the international management research is merely descriptive and lacks analytical rigor rigor /rig·or/ (rig´er) [L.] chill; rigidity.
rigor mor´tis the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers. . Many of the studies in this category are episodic episodic
sporadic; occurring in episodes. e. falling a paroxymal disorder described in Cavalier King Charles spaniels in which affected dogs, starting at an early age, experience episodes of extensor rigidity, possibly brought on by stress. e. and produced on an ad hoc basis. Empirical studies of the descriptive type tend to be largely one-dimensional, i. e., directed toward a specific narrow issue. These studies are generally based on a rather superficial investigation of the empirical evidence by means of a limited and frequently nonrepresentative questionnaire survey. Often, little thought seems to be given to the design of the questionnaires and even less to their distribution. Consequently, the knowledge obtained on this basis differs widely in scope and in quality; the results of these research endeavors are therefore often of limited significance and it may be difficult to make of the findings from the point of view of a synthesizing effort. In a way, this situation is one of the consequences of a lack in theoretical guidance that was pointed out above. In addition, it is also due to the fact that the international business field is far from having reached a certain stage of maturity and thus research opportunities are plentiful.
3. Empirical research studies in international business and comparative management -- whether they are descriptive, interpretive in·ter·pre·tive also in·ter·pre·ta·tive
Relating to or marked by interpretation; explanatory.
in·terpre·tive·ly adv. or normative -- frequently reflect substantial methodological deficiencies. In this regard one must, of course, take into account the general difficulty in the social sciences where the supply of primary data is usually beyond the direct intellectual control of the researcher. However, beyond this condition there is the fact that for a majority of the empirical studies on international business issues questionnaire surveys were used as the only means for collecting data. In this regard one becomes quickly aware of a number of shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.
Shortcomings may also be:
4. The most significant contributions in the international business field have generally been made with empirical studies from which the researchers used a variety of methodological approaches to data collection such as questionnaire surveys and subsequent interviews or detailed accounts of a particular case. Up to now, empirical studies which are exclusively the result of a systematic, exhaustive clinical analysis are very rare, yet potentially they could provide much more significant results than the broader, extensive surveys.
5. Many of the empirical studies in international business and comparative management are self-centered in the sense that they focus on the specific issue under investigation in isolation from already existing studies on the same or a closely related subject. One notices among the scholars of the field a tendency "to do one's own thing" without much regard for relevant research results of other scholars. In a field such as economics one finds that a very substantive body of knowledge has been developed in an interactive fashion by a number of scholars. Thus far, most of the international business and comparative management research is carried out in isolation by individual scholars and without a systematic effort to integrate the relevant findings that have already been established. A major reason for this situation is the fact that practically all researchers in the international business and comparative management field come up with their own research designs, develop their own instrumentation, have their own preference for a particular form of statistical analysis. Consequently, comparisons between studies are very difficult or even impossible.
6. In the international business and comparative management field one finds among the researchers a strong reluctance to orient o·ri·ent
1. To locate or place in a particular relation to the points of the compass.
2. To align or position with respect to a point or system of reference.
3. their investigations directly to the ambitious task of establishing empirically verified generalizations and to develop a body of knowledge from which predictions can be derived. This is, however, a necessary step in the development of the field so that a mutually beneficial Adj. 1. mutually beneficial - mutually dependent
dependent - relying on or requiring a person or thing for support, supply, or what is needed; "dependent children"; "dependent on moisture" exchange between the practitioners and the researchers can be achieved. Therefore, greater attention ought to be paid to generalizations tested and established within conditions that assure sufficient relevance in application to realistic prediction, either for better understanding of what is likely to occur or for a better evaluation of the effects of a particular management strategy.
7. A critical evaluation of the research effort in the international business and comparative management field must recognize the achievements that have been accomplished. In this regard one only has to stress the remarkable increase in research activity as reflected in Table 1 which is a sign of a dynamic development which speaks for itself. In addition, the diversity of the research effort which this paper attempts to document and the research findings which have been generated during a relatively short span of fifteen years are impressive.
Future Research Needs
After a critical review it seems appropriate to point out some broad themes which seem worthier of a more concentrated research effort:
1. It would be desirable to explore systematically the factors that contribute to the growth and spread of multinational enterprises. The research effort on this issue by Ray Vernon(41), Seev Hirsch(42), Charles Kindleberger(43), Stephen Hymer Stephen Herbert Hymer (1934-1974), Canadian economist, was born in Montreal, and died near that city in a car accident. His research focused on the activities of multinational firms, which was the subject of his PhD dissertation and Robert Rowthorn(44), to name only a few, raises significant questions which require further investigation and elaboration. This, in turn, requires the development of a comprehensive theoretical foundation which encompasses the various theses that have been advocated, including a new one which J. N. Bhagwati raises in a distinguished review and which emphasizes the interpenetration In`ter`pen`e`tra´tion
n. 1. The act or process of penetrating between or within other substances; mutual penetration; also, the result of a process of interpenetration.
Noun 1. among multinational corporations with competing R & D-induced specializations in different sub-products of the enterprises involved(45).
2. Another major research focus should be the investigation and analysis of the evolution of the basic management philosophy of multinational enterprises. In this regard there exists, for instance, an interesting taxonomy taxonomy: see classification.
In biology, the classification of organisms into a hierarchy of groupings, from the general to the particular, that reflect evolutionary and usually morphological relationships: kingdom, phylum, class, order, advocated by Howard Perlmutter (see page 8). It would seem to be important to establish empirically the relevance of this typology and to establish the impact of a given management philosophy on determination and achievement of multinational business firms' system of objectives.
3. Closely associated with the management philosophy issue is the question as to the multinational corporations' response to external, environmental conditions. John Fayerweather characterized the basic strategy options with regard to the external conditions as "adaptive" or "innovative". With regard to the internal, corporate strategy options the emphasis can be on a "unified" or a "fragmented" strategy. The following diagram summarizes the basic strategy options of multinational enterprises and it would seem to warrant a concerted research effort to determine the behavior patterns of multinational firms with different national origins and their effects on business success.
4. A more systematic research effort seems to be warranted on the issue of transfering managerial and technical know-how with focus on intra-organizational as well as interregional in·ter·re·gion·al
Of, involving, or connecting two or more regions: interregional migration; interregional banking. transfer and the optimal conditions for it.
5. The responsiveness of business to societal so·ci·e·tal
Of or relating to the structure, organization, or functioning of society.
Adj. needs is no longer a mere demand, but more and more an imposed obligation. The investigation of the social responsibility of multinational firms and how to conduct a social audit is thus another increasingly important area for international business research.
6. The proliferation of international business and comparative management research with a variety of orientations has made it imperative to pull the many pieces together into a coherent, comprehensive analysis. A greater synthesizing effort in the international management field is now a necessity; the field is in need of some form of consolidation which will establish a commonly recognized platform for further research and the promotion of a cumulative growth of international business knowledge. (1) Significant contributions in this regard are: Lee C. Nehrt et al., International Business Research: Past, Present and Future, Bloomington: Bureau of Business Research, Indiana University Indiana University, main campus at Bloomington; state supported; coeducational; chartered 1820 as a seminary, opened 1824. It became a college in 1828 and a university in 1838. The medical center (run jointly with Purdue Univ. , 1970; Raghu Nath, "A Methodological Review of Cross-Cultural Management Research", International Social Science Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1968, pp. 35-62; Jean Boddewyn and Raghu Nath, "Comparative Management Studies: An Assessment", Management International Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1970, pp. 3-11; Hans Schollhammer, The Comparative Management Theory Jungle", Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 12, No. 1 (March 1969), pp. 81-97. (2) Richard S. Rudner, Philosophy of Social Science, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1966, p. 10. (3) Frederick Harbison and C. A. Myers, Management in the Industrial World, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : McGraw-Hill, 1959. (4) Anant R. Negandhi and S. Benjamin Prasad Prasāda (Sanskrit: प्रसाद), prasād/prashad (Hindi), Prasāda in (Kannada), prasādam (Tamil), or prasadam , Comparative Management, New York: Appleton-Century-Cro 1970; see also A. R. Negandhi and B. D. Estafen, "Determining the Applicability of American Management Know-How in Differing Environments and Cultures", Academy of Management journal, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Dec. 1965), pp. 319-323. (5) Richard N. Farmer and Barry M. Richman, "A Model for Research in Comparative Management", California Management Review, Vol. 7 (Winter 1964), pp. 55-68; see also Comparative Management and Economic Progress, Homewood, Ill.: Richard D. Irwin, 1965; International Business: An Operational Theory, Homewood, Ill.: Richard D. Irwin, 1966. (6) John Fayerweather, International Business Management: A Conceptual Framework, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969, pp. 5-13. (7) For a detailed discussion of these concepts see Howard V. Perlmutter, "L' entreprise internation -- Trois conceptions", Revue revue, a stage presentation that originated in the early 19th cent. as a light, satirical commentary on current events. It was rapidly developed, particularly in England and the United States, into an amorphous musical entertainment, retaining a small amount of Economique et Sociale (Lausanne), Vol. 23 (May 1965), pp. 151-165; "Social Architectural Problems of the Multinational Firm", The Quarterly Journal of AIESEC AIESEC Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (International Association of Students in Economics and Business Management) International (Geneva Geneva, canton and city, Switzerland
Geneva (jənē`və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva. ), Vol. 3, No. 3 (August 1967), pp. 33-44; The Tortuous tor·tu·ous
Having many turns; winding or twisting.
tortuous adjective Referring to complexly twisted thing. Cf Tortious. Evoluation of the Multinational Corporation multinational corporation, business enterprise with manufacturing, sales, or service subsidiaries in one or more foreign countries, also known as a transnational or international corporation. These corporations originated early in the 20th cent. ", Columbia Journal of World Business, Vol. 4, No. 1 (January--February 1969), pp. 9-18. (8) Endel J. Kolde and Richard E. Hill, "Conceptual and Normative Aspects of International Management", Academy of Management Journal, June 1967, pp. 119-128. (9) Attempts toward some form of empirical verification of advocated frameworks tend to be sketchy and are largely subjective impressions from or interpretations of a very limited set of data. See, e. g. Barry M. Richman, "Empirical Testing of a Comparative and International Management Research Model", Proceedings of the 27tb Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, December 1967, pp. 34-65; or A. R. Neghandi and S. B. Prasad, Comparative Management, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1971. (10) Roy Blough, International Business: Environment and Adaptation, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966. (11) Jack N. Behrman, National Interests and the Multinational Enterprise, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1970; and U. S. International Business and Governments, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971. (12) Ray Vernon, Sovereignty at Bay: The Multinational Spread of U. S. Enterprises, New York: Basic Books Inc., 1971. (13) Richard D. Robinson D. Robinson was a member of the silver medal winning French cricket team at the 1900 Summer Olympics, the only time to date that cricket has featured in the Olympics. In the only match against Great Britain, he took two wickets in Great Britain's first innings, and was dismissed , international Management, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967. (14) William A. Dymsza, Multinational Business Strategy, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972. 15 See, e. g. Gordon E. Miracle and Gerald S Gerald - ["Gerald: An Exceptional Lazy Functional Programming Language", A.C. Reeves et al, in Functional Programming, Glasgow 1989, K. Davis et al eds, Springer 1990]. . Albaum, International Marketing Management, Homewood, Ill.: Richard D. Irwin, 1970. (16) See, e. g. David B. Zenoff and Jack Zwick, International Financial Management, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969; J. Fred Weston and Bart W. Sorge, International Managerial Finance Managerial finance is the branch of finance that concerns itself with the managerial significance of finance techniques. It is focused on assessment rather than technique. , Homewood, Ill.: Richard D. Irwin, 1972. (17) Ralph M. Gaedeke and Alan E. Lazar, "How Multinational Businessmen View Trade Restrictions", California Management Review, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Spring 1972), pp. 7-12. (18) Robert Stobaugh, "Financing Foreign Subsidiaries", Journal of International Business Studies JIBS, the Journal of International Business Studies, (ISSN: 0047-2506, eISSN: 1478-6990) is the official publication of the Academy of International Business (AIB) and is published by Palgrave Macmillan. , Vol. 1, No. 1 (Summer 1970), pp. 43-64. (19) J. M. McInnes, "Financial Control Systems for Multinational Operations A collective term to describe military actions conducted by forces of two or more nations, usually undertaken within the structure of a coalition or alliance. See also alliance; coalition; coalition action. ", Journal of Internation Business Studies, Vol. 2 (Fall 1971), pp. 11-29. (20) Arthur Stonehill and Leonard Nathanson, "Capital Budgeting in the Multinational Corporation", California Management Review, Summer 1968, pp. 39-54. (21) Edwin L. Miller, "The Overseas Assignment: How Managers Determine Who is Selected", Michigan Business Review, May 1972, pp. 12-19. (22) Hans Schollhammer, "The Compensation of International Executives", MSU MSU Michigan State University
MSU Mississippi State University
MSU Montana State University
MSU Minnesota State University
MSU Morehead State University (Kentycky)
MSU Montclair State University Business Topics, Vol. 17 (Winter 1969), pp. 19-31. (23) John M. Ivancevich and James Baker, "Job Satisfaction of American Managers Overseas", MSU Business Topics, Vol. 17 (Summer 1969), pp. 72-79. (24) See, e. g. F. A. Heller and L. W. Porter, "Perceptions of Managerial Needs and Skills in Two National Samples", Occupational Psychology,
Vol. 40, No. 182, 1966, pp. 1-13. (25) R. J. Aylmer, "Who Makes Marketing Decisions in the Multinational Firm", Journal of Marketing, Oct. 1970, pp. 25-30. (26) Mason Haire, Edwin E. Ghiselli and Lyman Porter, Managerial Thinking: An International Survey, New York: John Wiley John Wiley may refer to:
Harvard College, originally for men, was founded in 1636 with a grant from the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. , 1967 (unpublished DBA Thesis); see also "Global Intelligence", Worldwide P & I Planning, July-august 1968, p. 38 ff. (32) John M. Stopford, Growth and Organizational Change in the Multinational Firm, Cambridge, Mass.: Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1968 (unpublished DBA Thesis); see also Lawrence E. Fouraker and John M. Stopford, "Organizational Structure This article has no lead section.
To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, one should be written. and the Multinational Strategy", Administrative Science Quarterly Administrative Science Quarterly, founded in 1956, is one of the most eminent academic journals in the field of organizational studies. It is published by Cornell University.
People claimed to have been involved as founders include James D. , June 1968, pp. 47-64. (33) Lawrence G. Franko, Joint Venture Survival in Multinational Corporations, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971; see also "Joint Venture Divorce in the Multinational Company", Columbia Journal of World Business, May-June 1971, pp. 13-22. (34) Ashok Kapoor, International Business Negotiation: A Study in India, New York: New York University Press New York University Press (or NYU Press), founded in 1916, is a university press that is part of New York University. External link
Market situation in which producers are so few that the actions of each of them have an impact on price and on competitors. Each producer must consider the effect of a price change on the others. : The Non-American Challenge", in Charles P. Kindleberger (ed.), The International Corporation, Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1970, pp. 57-91; see also Robert Rowthorn and Stephen Hymer, International Big Business 1957-1967, Cambridge (England): Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (known colloquially as CUP) is a publisher given a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1534, and one of the two privileged presses (the other being Oxford University Press). , 1971. (45) See Jagdish N. Bhagwati's review of Raymond Vernon's Sovereignty at Bay in the Journal of International Economics, Vol. 2 (1972), p. 457.