Bricks and Mortar in a Borderless World: Globalization, the Backlash and the Multinational Enterprise

Global Strategy Journal, Volume 7, Issue 2, May 2017

29 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2017

See all articles by Stephen J. Kobrin

Stephen J. Kobrin

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: January 31, 2017

Abstract

Globalization, increased interconnectedness, and deep integration resulted in significant increases in trade and FDI from 1989 through 2008. The recession marked the end of that trend and the rise of a broad-based opposition that has economic, social, and political components. This article explores the backlash, arguing that is driven by sociotropic perceptions. While globalization can be explained as a cyclical or structural phenomenon, I argue that technological change results in a networked global economy, the transition from a space of places to a space of flows, and increases the potential cost of devolution to the point where economic independence is no longer feasible. Nonetheless, I conclude that MNCs face a period of prolonged uncertainty and develop implications for firm strategy.

Keywords: Globalization, nationalism, multinational enterprise, strategy

Suggested Citation

Kobrin, Stephen J., Bricks and Mortar in a Borderless World: Globalization, the Backlash and the Multinational Enterprise (January 31, 2017). Global Strategy Journal, Volume 7, Issue 2, May 2017 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2947018

Stephen J. Kobrin (Contact Author)

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States
215-898-7732 (Phone)
215-573-5071 (Fax)

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