Cities And International Business

Insights from cross-disciplinary perspectives

Authored by: Gary Cook , Naresh Pandit

The Routledge Companion to the Geography of International Business

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138953345
eBook ISBN: 9781315667379
Adobe ISBN:


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Since the publication of Porter’s The Competitive Advantage of Nations (1990) and the landmark article of John Dunning (1998), there has been a surge of interest in the sub-national geographic scale as a key unit of analysis when considering the geographic pattern of multinational activity. Likewise, the ideas of Economic Geographers, especially Dicken (2015), have also encouraged a more fine-grained analysis of where, exactly, firms will choose to locate particular activities. Cities as a spatial unit of analysis have not been absent in the field of International Business (IB), indeed Hymer (1976) wrote about cities; however, cities have not been prominent. This is changing, as it is being realised more broadly in IB that cities are distinctive places which play a vital role in the location of MNE activities and, indeed, in strategy formulation and implementation. Goerzen, Asmussen and Nielsen (2013) is a particularly important contribution, stating powerfully the case that cities matter. The issue is also gaining in importance, given the continuation of a process of urbanisation which already sees over half of the world’s population living in cities (Scott, 2012). As Scott (2001, 2012) argues, cities are of huge economic significance as places generating disproportionate amounts of profit, wages and land rents.

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