Chapter

Globalization, Technological Change and the Spatial Organization of Economic Activity

John H. Dunning

in The Dynamic Firm

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780198296041
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596070 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198296045.003.0013
 Globalization, Technological Change and the Spatial Organization of Economic Activity

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Presents a further analysis of globalization in relation to technological change. The author takes issue with the all‐too‐persistent notions that only locationally immobile assets and arm's‐length transactions determine the international division of labour and competitive advantages of firms and nations, preferring to stress the important roles of created assets (including how they are created and deployed) and of multinational enterprises in the international economy. The historical roots of inadequate explanations are traced before addressing more recent developments in the theory of spatial specialization of economic activity. The role of firms in coordinating activities and in governing transactions is explored in some depth, and the place of government in this scheme of things is introduced. None of the main modalities of organizing economic activity (markets, hierarchies, inter‐firm alliances and governments) is argued to escape the profound effects of globalization, and from largely having been regarded as alternatives, it is suggested that it is now more realistic to view these modalities as having complementary roles in the organization of resources and capabilities.

Keywords: alliances; assets; companies; economic activity; firms; globalization; government; hierarchies; inter‐firm alliances; international economy; markets; multinational enterprises; organization; spatial organization; spatial specialization; technological change; transactions

Chapter.  11457 words. 

Subjects: Microeconomics

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