Insegnamenti I & II Livello
Programma dell'insegnamento: Multinational corporations in the global economy
Corsi di Laurea
Codice Cfu Insegnamento
2Multinational corporations in the global economy
II sem.
Giuliani Elisa
tel: 050-2216280  email:
Ore di lezione

Ore di esercitazione

Multinational corporations (MNCs) are dominant actors in the current process of globalization of markets, technologies and human resources. This course analyzes the organization and strategies of MNCs and the impact that these have on host countries in the developing world.

Apprendimento in termini di conoscenza
• Understand how MNCs operate and compete on international markets
• Sharpen critical thinking about issues of global governance and competitiveness

Learning method:
Lectures, discussion in class, class assignments.

The course is organized along four main topics:

1) MNCs’ organization and strategy
This is an introductory topic that explains what a multinational corporation is, why a firm becomes multinational, what types of strategies do MNC follow in their international expansion and what organizational models MNC adopt in their operations.

2) Impact of MNC on host economies
This topic discusses the impact that foreign direct investors have on host economies. What type of externalities do MNC generate? Under what conditions do they generate positive externalities? This topic will also explain why Governments of developing countries are very active in attracting foreign multinationals and what are the expected benefits of foreign direct investment.

3) MNC operations and human rights
In their global expansion, some of the MNCs have at times misbehaved. Taking advantage of some
host countries’ slack regulations and lack of controls, MNCs have become responsible for the
exploitation of human resources, the destruction of the natural environment, for corruption and
illegal behaviours. The course will discuss some notable cases, and also see how MNCs and policy makers have (or could have) addressed these problems.

4) Multinationals from emerging economies
While globalisation has opened new markets to rich-world companies, it has also given birth to a
pack of fast-moving, sharp-toothed new multinationals that is emerging from the poor world. The course explores this new trend and looks at the implications of this new wave of investments for
economic development.

Testi consigliati per l'esame
1) Ghoshal S. (1987) Global strategy: an organizing framework, Strategic Management Journal, 8 (5).

2) Lipsey R.E. (2002) Home and host country effects of FDI, NBER Working Paper 9293
Downloadable from: - from page 19 (starting with section :IV.
Host Country Effects of Inward FDI) onwards.

3) Aaronson S.A. (2005) “Minding Our Business”: What the United States Government has done and
can do to Ensure that U.S. Multinationals Act Responsibly in Foreign Markets, Journal of Business
Ethics, 59 (1-2 ) , 175-198
Monshipouri, M., Welch, CE., Kennedy, ET. (2003) “Multinational Corporations and the Ethics of
Global Responsibility: Problems and Possibilities” Human Rights Quarterly - Volume 25, Number
4, November 2003, pp. 965-989.

4) The Economist, How the new multinationals are remaking the old, 4/7/2007, Vol. 383,
Issue 8523 (Downloadable from my website)

The Economist, They’re behind you, 00130613, 12/8/2007, Vol. 385, Issue 8558
(Downloadable from my website)

These are the compulsory readings for those wishing to take the exam on the 21st of February 2009. Students attending the course in the spring term (2009), are advised that the readings may be subject to changes. All updates are available in my website:

prova di esame
Written exam. 10 questions (True/False, Multiple Choice, Open Questions, Fill-in-the-blanks)in 20 minutes.

indicazione agli studenti
Students are strongly advised to attend the lectures. For further information about the program, reading material, exams, and timetable of the course, please refer to the following website: