ریموند ورنون، شرکت های چند ملیتی و دولت های ملی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Management, Volume 6, Issue 4, Winter 2000, Pages 327–334
In this article commemorating Raymond Vernon, I make no attempt to summarize his expansive work on the nature and prospects of multinational enterprises (MNEs). Rather, I discuss three forces — rivalry, uncertainty, and time — that Vernon accentuated in his explanations of the behavior of MNEs. I then make brief observations about Vernon and methodology. Subsequently, I speculate on the following question: A hundred years from now, what single idea will Vernon be remembered for? Acknowledging the product cycle as a leading contender, I nominate and discuss (under the moniker “the unending embrace”) another candidate, one that dwells on the undulating tension between MNEs and governments. I conclude by flagging for future research some questions that that central idea raises. The name Raymond Vernon is synonymous with that set of entities known as multinational enterprises (or MNEs). Certainly, the very length of time — four long decades — that he dedicated to the study and analysis of these enterprises must be part of the explanation. But more than that, I suspect it is Professor Vernon's unrivaled depth of understanding of MNEs, so evident in his writings, that really explains why many of us might make reflexively this association between scholar and subject. In today's parlance, we might say that Vernon pioneered in developing a behavioral theory of MNEs. He was convinced that in the post-war context these entities had become important actors. To him their importance lay not only in the large role they were starting to play in international commerce, but also in the fact that they were pioneers in technology and marketing (the dimensions that in many respects made the advanced countries “advanced” and were, hence, important in their own right). Understanding the motivations and patterns of behavior of these enterprises was likely to be helpful, he felt, to public policy. But, with few exceptions, economists, he believed, were (for a variety of reasons including lack of interest and lack of tools) continuing in their work to neglect these enterprises. It was with these priors, it appears, that Vernon approached his inquiry into the nature and prospects of MNEs. To Vernon the reality of MNEs was complex. Yet, among the various forces that shape the behavior of MNEs, three — rivalry, uncertainty, and time — held particularly central positions in his conception. And those forces feature in one or another form in most of his writings on the subject. In the section below, I want to discuss briefly those three forces (all of which he introduces in his 1966 product cycle article, and, which explain, I believe, in no small part the large success of that piece). I then want to make a few observations about Vernon and methodology. In the section after that, I want to offer my speculation on the following (slightly audacious) question: A hundred years from now, what single idea will Vernon be remembered for? While the product cycle must certainly be a leading contender, I will nominate and discuss (under the moniker “the unending embrace”) another candidate, one that dwells on the undulating tension between MNEs and governments. I believe it is his insight on the latter that is likely to earn him intellectual immortality (alongside other economists such as Smith and Hayek). In the subsequent and last section, I flag some questions for future research that that central idea raises.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The challenge emphasized by Vernon raises several questions for research. For instance, going forward, how might MNEs allocate their operations across nations? Beyond other factors (such as transport costs, scale economies, and exchange rates), how might MNEs take the “unending embrace” into account in their location decisions? Should each MNE, even at the cost of foregoing some current efficiency, spread its operations across its major markets, and lessen (or spread) the burden of adjustment on any given locality? That is should each MNE build a “structural hedge” of sorts that keep it in ready compliance with potential local content regulations? (Think of Japanese transplants in the United States and their voluntary export restraints.) Or can MNEs assume that through a process of regional specialization, different industries will end up concentrated in different parts of the world and that eventually the adjustment problem will be worked out at the industry rather than the firm level? Put differently, in an uncertain world where the extent of the market is likely to be a political resultant, how should MNEs place their bets? Does it make sense to pursue a mixed strategy (such as the distributed specialization advocated in recent multinational management texts)? Given that tradeoffs between efficiency and sustainability are implied, the question is how might firms act to minimize such tradeoffs? On the public policy side, a question is whether regional blocs can represent a partial response to the above challenge. In other words, even if regional blocs do not bring “first-best” maximum efficiency, can they be an equilibrium arrangement that can mitigate adequately the above tensions? Thus, should governments now not push too aggressively for arrangements such as a TAFTA (Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Area)? Should further rounds of the WTO (the World Trade Organization) be put on the back burner pending a settling down and adjustment period? Should talk of a return to a worldwide fixed exchange rate regime (potentially beneficial to business) be set aside along similar grounds? More broadly, in spheres of commerce, to what extent, when, and where (beyond classic government-remediable market failures) must economics make room for politics? Having brought to our attention a challenge central to future economic well being, Ray Vernon leaves to us the responsibility of coming up with better answers. Fortunately, his academic career-long efforts at analyzing and explaining the nature of MNEs and their interactions with governments provide us an extraordinarily solid foundation upon which to build. I suggest we take that research forward bearing in mind that if we are to avoid the pessimism of Marx and work toward the optimism of Smith, we might have to pay more heed to the realism of Vernon.