Multinational Corporations in Political Environments advances and tests a theory of why foreign corporations leave host states. Theories of international business have often ignored the complexity of corporate decisions about leaving foreign countries, generally assuming that the economic and competitive reasons that prompt multinational corporations to enter host states also explain their subsequent reasons for leaving. Alternatively, this book proposes a theory of how different stakeholders' values and ethics shape multinationals' strategic leaving behaviors. Tested in South Africa when US multinationals were facing diverse pressures from stockholders, governments and consumers to leave, the research provides a prism to isolate how different stakeholders' actions influenced multinationals' behaviors. Detailed analyses of subsidiary-level archival data over a period of four crucial years revealed that the multinationals engaged in diverse forms of leaving reflecting their involvements, strategies and stakeholders' influences. The research, the first to test which stakeholders' strategies, including boycotts and sanctions, influenced multinationals and which did not, and to identify their effects on multinationals' behaviors, has enormous implications for policy makers, managers and social activists. The book also applies the findings and explores implications for recent stakeholders' attempts at influencing multinationals and governments, such as Nike in Asia and the Burmese government, through sanctions, resolutions and boycotts.
Multinational corporations as catalysts: multinational corporations as change agents; reassessing theories of multinational corporations; applying the theories to South Africa during Apartheid. Multinational corporations as chameleons: the development of multinational corporations; why multinational corporations leave host states. Data, analyses and results: methodology; analyses and results. Theoretical and strategic implications: understanding and influencing multinational corporations.