Organizational Innovation in the Multinational Enterprise: Internalisation Theory and Business History

Maria Teresa Da Silva Lopes, Mark Casson, Geoffrey Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article engages in a methodological experiment by using historical evidence to challenge a common misperception about internalization theory. The theory has often been criticized for maintaining that it assumes a hierarchically organized MNE based on knowledge flowing from the home country. This is not an accurate description of how global firms operate in recent decades, but this article shows it has never been true historically. Using longitudinal data on individual firms from the nineteenth century onwards, it reveals evidence of how entrepreneurs and firms with multinational activity faced by market imperfections changed the design of their headquarters and their organizational structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1358
Number of pages21
Early online date11 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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  • organization and management
  • internalization theory
  • business history
  • entrepreneurship business strategy

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