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International Operations Management in Brazilian Multinationals

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“International Operations Management (IOM) is still an overlooked field of research, partly because it is assumed that international production occurs in the domains of a single organization: the developed country multinational company (DMNC). Implicitly, IOM models consider that the only distinction between a domestic firm and its multinational counterpart is that production sites are locatedin different countries. Such models rarely seem to bear any contextualization or concern with other factors that influence international operations as if the headquarters in the home country exerted full control over operations sites. That is to say that the orchestration of the company’s network of subsidiaries in terms of design, execution, and the value it creates, usually aims at lowering production and transportation costs. On the other hand, International Business (IB) has developed a handful of theories looking at the context and its influences but seldom focusing on IOM . That changes when emerging country multinationals (EMNCs) are analyzed because a) EMN Cs do not display the market power that DMN Cs are supposed to have; b) EMN Cs are born in countries where the context has relevant influence on both their evolution and internationalization. Therefore, the study of EMNC ’s IOM requires a specific analytical framework, which is this paper’s main target. In order to build that framework, concepts from IB and IOM disciplines are interwoven. A three-level analytical framework looks at the headquarters and its home country context, subsidiaries in their respective host country contexts, and the global production network (GPN) that hovers over all those protagonists. The application of the framework is illustrated by a preliminary fieldwork, including one relevant case. The framework might be used for the study of DMN Cs, depending on the approach to be adopted.”

This talk is part of the IfM Buns Talk series.

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