A review of location, politics, and the multinational corporation: Bringing political geography into international business

Iiris Saittakari*, Tiina Ritvala, Rebecca Piekkari, Perttu Kähäri, Sami Moisio, Tomas Hanell, Sjoerd Beugelsdijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

How has international business (IB) research evolved to account for the politicization of the context in which multinational corporations (MNCs) operate? To address this question, we review research at the nexus of location, politics, and the MNC from 2000 through 2021. Rooted in classic IB theories, our review reveals three directions in current IB research: (i) expansion of MNC agency in shaping the political environment, (ii) a wider diversity of actors involved in the business–government–society interface, and (iii) extension of the levels of analysis from country level to sub- and supra-national levels. This three-fold evolution has moved IB research closer to the field of political geography, but the shift has remained largely implicit and its theoretical linkages are few. Drawing on key theoretical insights from political geography, we discuss the opportunities and challenges of bringing political geography into IB research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 969–995
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Volume54
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review

Keywords

  • Location
  • Multinational corporations
  • Place
  • Political environment
  • Political geography
  • Politics

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