Jan Drahokoupil
Decision-making in multinational corporations: Key issues in international business strategy

Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 2014: 20, issue 2, pp. 199-215
ISSN: 1024-2589 (print); 1996-7284 (online)

The article discusses key issues in international business strategy from a workers’ perspective and relates these to existing frameworks for understanding decision-making in multinational corporations (MNCs). It begins by identifying key decisions in international business, discussing their interrelationships, and highlighting key empirical trends. Academic research in international business strategy can, it is pointed out, helpfully inform worker representatives and trade unions in the context of their work within MNCs in Europe. The article goes on to review existing frameworks for understanding how MNCs make decisions about the major strategic issues. Its focus is on five types of approaches: the resource-based perspective on the firm; transaction cost economics; institutionalism; the network approach; and the actor-centred perspectives. It is argued that research on MNC strategies, insofar as it is aimed at informing trade unions and worker representatives and at evaluating the impact of their activities, should be based on frameworks that bring together these disparate paradigms.