Multinational Enterprises, Development and Globalization: Some Clarifications and a Research Agenda



In this seminar a paper will be discussed. This paper considers how economic globalization has affected opportunities and challenges for developing countries in following a multinational enterprise (MNE)-assisted development strategy, revisiting an earlier article by the authors. The growing share of industrial activity owned and/or controlled by MNEs has not—by and large—led to a proportional increase in sustainable domestic industrial growth. Particular attention is paid to how MNEs have responded proactively to globalization by modifying their strategies, spatial organization and the modalities by which they interact with host economic actors, and how these changes alter our understanding of MNEs and development. What has been learnt over the last decade about embeddedness, institutions, inertia, absorptive capacity, spillovers and linkages, and how they can explain the success of some countries (or regions) in promoting growth, and the failure of others, is examined. The need to link MNE and industrial policies systematically is highlighted. Attracting the “right kinds” of MNE activity remains important, but greater heterogeneity of MNE activity and hostlocations requires greater customization of policy tools.

READING MATERIAL: Narula, R. and Dunning, J. (2010) “Multinational Enterprises, Development and Globalization: Some Clarifications and a Research Agenda”, Oxford Development Studies, 38 (3): 263-287.


Rajneesh Narula is currently Professor of International Business Regulation and Director of the John H. Dunning Centre for International Business at the  Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK. He was  a Non-Residential Fellow at the OECD Development Centre, Paris in 2010, and is a  research associate at  the United Nations University –MERIT in the Netherlands. He obtained his B. Eng (Electrical Engineering, with Honours) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, his MBA from Rutgers University Graduate School of Management, and his Doctorate in Management from Rutgers University, USA

Prof. Narula has previously held appointments at the Copenhagen Business School (2002-2004), University of Oslo (1998-2002), BI Norwegian School of Management (2000-2003), and the University of Maastricht (1993-1997).

Prof. Narula’s research and consulting have focused the internationalization of innovation, R&D alliances, and the role of multinational firms in industrial development. He is the author or editor of nine books, including Globalization and Technology (Polity Press), Multinationals and Industrial Competitiveness (with John Dunning, Edward Elgar), Understanding FDI-assisted Economic Development (with Sanjaya Lall, Routledge), Multinationals on the Periphery (with Gabriel Benito, Palgrave). His publications have appeared in leading journals, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Oxford Development Studies, Research Policy, Journal of Management Studies  and Management International Review.

Prof. Narula is Editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Development Research. He serves (or has served) on the editorial boards of the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of International Management, and Management International Review.

Before academia, Professor Narula worked as an Engineer in Nigeria, and later as a Planning Analyst at IBM Asia/Pacific Headquarters in Hong Kong. He acts regularly as a consultant for UNCTAD, UNIDO, the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank and the OECD. He has traveled widely, having undertaken research and consultancy projects or taught in Tanzania, Uganda, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Russia, India, Qatar, UAE,  in addition to almost all the countries of the EU

Professor Narula’s current research interests include: Development Studies, strategic alliances in innovation; innovation management; promoting growth by FDI in transition and emerging economies;  technological systems and institutions; impact of outward FDI in developing countries.

Contact information:
Andrea da Rosa