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Politics and Power in the Multinational Corporation: The Role of Institutions, Interests and Identities [Hardcover]

Christoph Dörrenbächer , Mike Geppert

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Book Description

May 16 2011 0521197171 978-0521197175
The current financial and economic crisis has negatively underlined the vital role of multinational companies (MNCs) in our daily lives. The breakdown and crisis of flagship MNCs, such as Enron, WorldCom, Lehman Brothers, Toyota and General Motors, does not merely reveal the problems of corporate malfeasance and market dysfunction. It also raises important questions, both for the public and the academic community, about the use and misuse of power by MNCs in the wider society, as well as the exercise of power by key actors within internationally operating firms. This book examines how issues of power and politics affect MNCs at three different levels; the macro-level, the meso-level and the micro-level. This wide-ranging analysis shows not only that power matters but also how and why it matters, pointing to the political interactions of key power holders and actors within the MNC, both managers and employees.

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"This collection of original research-based contributions takes our understanding way beyond that previously offered by mainstream studies of power and politics in the multinational corporation. It provides new insights into political dynamics within multinationals and how these are informed by the socio-cultural identities of key actors as well as conditioned by local institutional and cultural factors. From reading this book we can appreciate how apparently mighty and monolithic corporations often lack the cohesion and rationality they like to portray."
- John Child, Emeritus Chair of Commerce, University of Birmingham

"International business and research into multinationals has, on the whole, not been characterised by a concern with power relations. While this is something that might strike many social scientists as odd it has hardly been remarked by many of the narrower specialists in the field. Christoph Dörrenbächer and Mike Geppert, together with the assemblage of scholars and commentators that they have collected in this volume, are a notable exception to the general tendency. The focus on power relations as the essence of business activity on a global scale is long overdue. From various and diverse frameworks the contributors to this volume rectify the picture."
- Stewart Clegg, Professor and Research Director of Centre for Management and Organization Studies (CMOS), University of Technology, Sydney

"This book... offers a wide array of insights that both help consolidate a range of debates, as well as ample directions for further inquiry."
- Ödül Bozkurt, University of Sussex, Journal of International Management

"With their volume, Dörrenbächer and Geppert make a ground-breaking contribution to this only recently emerging realm of the debate." -Martin Seeliger, Ruhr-University of Bochum, British Journal of Industrial Relations

"All in all, the contributions of the book are highly successful in accomplishing the book's key aims. Rich in conceptual backgrounds and international empirical evidence, the various chapters provide excellent reading not only on the fact that power matters in the game-playing arena within MNCs, particularly when interests or identities conflict, but also on how and why it matters. As a leading example of its kind that focuses on power and politics issues in the management of MNCs, the book achieves its main objective of taking the issue to the forefront of academic discussions. Although the book is written by academics mainly for the academic community, particularly the empirical contributions can be of utmost interest to those practitioners involved in one of the most global phenomena, that is, MNCs. It is therefore wholeheartedly recommended to the academic and practitioner communities alike." -Kadire Zeynep Sayim, Bilkent University, Journal of Industrial Relations

Book Description

We typically see multinationals as monolithic organisations but, like any institution in society, they are not. They are geographically, socially, culturally and institutionally diverse. This 2011 book examines this complexity, focusing on issues of politics and power, an underdeveloped area of study in mainstream analyses of multinational corporations.

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