An Overview of Multinational Companies

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What is MNC’s:

A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country other than its home country. Such companies have offices and/or factories in different countries and usually have a centralized head office where they co-ordinate global management. Very large multinationals have budgets that exceed those of many small countries.

Sometimes referred to as a "transnational corporation"

A multinational corporation (MNC) or multinational enterprise (MNE) is a corporation enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. It can also be referred to as an international corporation. They play an important role in globalization

Nearly all major multinationals are either American, Japanese or Western European, such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, AOL, Toshiba, Honda and BMW. Advocates of multinationals say they create jobs and wealth and improve technology in countries that are in need of such development. On the other hand, critics say multinationals can have undue political influence over governments, can exploit developing nations as well as create job losses in their own home countries.

A business that operates in two or more countries. With increased foreign trade, many businesses in the United States, as well as other nations, have found it worthwhile to open offices, branch plants, distribution centers, etc., around the globe. Almost all of the "big boys," like General Motors, Sony, IBM, British Petroleum, Mitsubishi, and Exxon, are multinational companies. As multinational companies grow bigger and extend their operations world-wide, some people feel that they lose their sense of country loyalty or national identity. Multinational firms arise because capital is much more mobile than labor. Since cheap labor and raw material inputs are located in other countries, multinational firms establish subsidiaries there. They are often criticized as being runaway corporations.Economists are not in agreement as to how multinational or transnational corporations should be defined. Multinational corporations have many dimensions and can be viewed from several perspectives (ownership, management, strategy and structural, etc.) Strategies:

Corporations may make a foreign direct investment. Foreign direct investment is direct investment into one country by a company in production located in another country either by buying a company in the country or by expanding operations of an existing business in the country. A subsidiary or daughter company is a company that is completely or partly owned and wholly controlled by another company that owns more than half of the subsidiary's stock.[5][6] A corporation may choose to locate in a special economic zone, which is a geographical region that has economic and other laws that are more free-market-oriented than a country's typical or national laws Global profit maximization

Some are home country oriented,
Others are host country oriented.
Successful firms: world-oriented, but must adapt to local markets.

Ownership criterion:

Some argue that ownership is a key criterion. A firm becomes multinational only when the headquarter or parent company is effectively owned by nationals of two or more countries. For example, Shell and Unilever, controlled by British and Dutch interests, are good examples. However, by ownership test, very few multinationals are multinational. The ownership of most MNCs are uninational. (e.g., the Smith-Corona versus Brothers case) Depending on the case, each is considered an American multinational company in one case, and each is considered a foreign multinational in another case. Thus, ownership does not really matter. Nationality mix of headquarter managers:

An international company is multinational if the managers of the parent company are nationals of several countries. Usually, managers of the headquarters are nationals of the home country. This may be a transitional phenomenon. Very...
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