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Transnational corporations, socio-economic change and recurrent crisis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Critical Perspectives on International Business
Issue number4
Volume9
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)336-357
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Purpose
– The paper's aim is to consider the effects of recurrent economic crisis on the management and organisational structures of transnational companies based in the UK by considering contemporary evidence and scholarly views of the processes involved, and especially to consider the contributions of the papers that follow in this special issue of the journal.

Design/methodology/approach
– The paper provides a summary overview of some of the key evidence and arguments concerning the origin of recent continuing crises in Western capitalism. The paper places in context and assesses the contribution of five papers especially selected by the editors to be included in this special issue which bear on different aspects.

Findings
– The paper suggests several key processes are at work in contemporary capitalism, which can be summed up as increasing financialisation. This is the process by which businesses are increasingly orientated to the extraction of value, and success is primarily assessed in terms of the rate of return to capital employed. In their different ways the papers in the special issue illustrate aspects of the process of financialisation, including: the operation of a new set of financial institutions including private equity and hedge funds, and the effects of these on the various policies and priorities of the executive leaders of large businesses in such areas as human resource management and the adoption of new organisational forms. The discussion extends to the consideration of the effects of change on international finance and argues for the origins of changes in changed class relations.

Research limitations/implications
– The implications of this work are that the character and reach of current economic change are further illuminated – including especially the underlying causes of the present economic crisis.

Social implications
– Financialisation represents both a reorganisation of the processes of capitalist production and a class strategy of international elites to entrench their advantages in the new conditions of international political economy opened through the intellectual and policy triumph of neoliberal thinking.

Originality/value
– The work brings together scattered insights and viewpoints and builds them into a coherent synthesis. It thus moves beyond limited conceptions and insights.