Global or Stateless Corporations Are National Firms with International Operations

by Yao-Su Hu



Are "multinational," "transnational," or "global" corporations truly stateless? By applying a number of criteria-geographical spread and scope of operations, ownership, control, people, legal nationality, and tax domicile-one must conclude that they are national firms with international operations. The home nation remains the primary source of a corporation's international competitive advantage, so that weakness at home is unlikely to be compensated by overseas operations. Moreover, it is often simply not feasible for a company as a whole to shift its home base (as distinct from shifting its headquarters). The firm needs its home nation just as the nation needs its home-based firms.

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