“Transnational Corporations and Development” Working Group

News

Reports from the EADI General Conference 2014

16 Jul 2014

The Working Groups of EADI organised sessions at the EADI General Conference 2014 “Responsible Development in a Polycentric World: Inequality, Citizenship and the Middle Classes”. Reports and more information on the sessions is now available on the conference blog.

About this Working Group

Background

The activities of the Working Group on Transnational Corporations are managed by a team of researchers from Denmark (Michael W. Hansen, Henrik Schaumburg-Muller and Soeren Jeppesen, Copenhagen Business School) and France (Eric Rugraff and Clarie Mainguy, University of Strasbourg/GEMDEV and BETA). The working group is totally open and welcome new contributions of researchers and development practitioners. 

Research rationale

The EADI WG on 'TNCs and Development' seeks to bring together a group of likeminded researchers (and development practitioners) in the European development research community. The ambition is to contribute to the debate on TNCs and development by conducting and disseminating interdisciplinary and high quality research on a selected number of topics related to this theme.

The importance of TNCs for developing countries, broadly understood as emerging markets, transition economies and less developed countries, has been increasing over the last 20 years and the spread of globalization has raised a new set of issues in relation to TNCs. After being deemed as exploiters, met with reluctance from host governments, the tides have changed and many developing countries now welcome TNCs and view FDI as an important source of development. TNCs may play a central role in development by increasing economic growth and contributing to social development. But TNCs may also bring developing countries on a dependant path where local firms remain focused on low value added activities and where host countries become increasingly vulnerable to the global strategies of TNCs. More generally, the private sector's contribution to development has gained increased attention within firm strategy and management thinking as well as within thinking on development strategy. However, research on the impact of TNCs and FDI on developing countries is still fragmented and limited in various fields, which makes it pertinent to shed new light on these aspects.

Potential Research focus areas

The research focus of the WG could include, but is by no means limited to the following areas:


1) Development implications of the constitution of global value chains

  • Risks of dependence and hollowing out of local industry
  • Opportunities of upgrading through integration into global value chains

2) Political strategies for mobilising TNCs for development purposes

  • Facilitating linkage effects and the creation of local clusters
  • Programmes to ensure the upgrading of local activities in the value chains of TNCs
  • Home country partnership programmes to increase positive impacts of TNCs

3) Relationship between home country practices and host country impacts

  • National business systems (varieties of capitalism) and their implications for developing countries
  • Development consequences of different corporate governance practices
  • The diffusion of industrial relations from home to host countries

4) Implications of the knowledge and innovation driven economy for developing countries

  • The widening of the gap between developed and developing countries in terms of Innovation capacity and R&D
  • The role of TNCs in building national innovation systems

Convenors

Eric Rugraff
University of Strasbourg
72 route du Rhin
67400 Illkirch France
Phone: 33-3-68858416
Fax: 33-3-68858230
eric.rugraff@unistra.fr

Michael W. Hansen
Centre for Business and Development Studies
Dalgas Have 15
2000 Frederiksberg
Denmark
Tel.: (45) 38 15 31 40
Fax: (45) 38 15 38 40
mwh.ikl@cbs.dk

Latest Publications on Transnational Corporations