The Book Essay

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Elements of Multinational Strategy Keith Head1 May 2007 Version 6.9 Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, 2053 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z2, Canada. 1, 2 Preface Three events led to the writing of this book. In 1976, my father’s employer, Exxon, reassigned him from headquarters in Houston to spend 18 months at Esso Brasileira, in Rio de Janeiro. During the six years we ended up spending there, my father would often talk about issues facing multinational corporations in developing countries and I would occasionally listen. In 1984, I took the Swarthmore College seminar on microeconomic theory offered by Bernie Saffran. I became so excited about the use of economic analysis to explain how the world works that I decided to do a Ph.D. in the field. In 1992, teaching “International Business Management” for the first time, I found a subject with a myriad of interesting questions but very little in the way of a conceptual framework. I began, working together with John Ries, to figure out how to use economic reasoning and data analysis to answer these questions. The result is this textbook. There are dozens of other textbooks on international business. This one is different. It is shorter and less expensive than the rest. However, those attributes are not what has made this project so challenging and interesting for me. My goal in writing this book has been to integrate the academic study of international trade and foreign direct investment—the work I do when I’m not teaching—with the actual strategic and operational decisions of exporters and multinational enterprises. The textbooks currently available often have a chapter on trade theory and then another on manufacturing locations, a chapter on foreign direct investment and a chapter on multinational strategies. Thus, the economics and the management are both there but

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