Nationalist sentiments and the multinational enterprise: insights from organizational sociology

Jesper Edman, Ilya R.P. Cuypers, Gokhan Ertug, Ruth V. Aguilera

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Resum

International business scholars have recognized the impact of political and economic nationalism on the multinational enterprise (MNE). We complement these approaches by highlighting the sociological manifestations of nationalism and their implications for the MNE. We argue that nationalist sentiments, i.e., widely shared assumptions of superiority over other nations and cultures, constitute an under-researched but critical element in international business (IB). Drawing insights from organizational sociology, we elucidate how nationalist sentiments manifest in the MNE’s external and internal environment. Specifically, we suggest that nationalist sentiments accentuate national institutional logics, generate status-based categorizations of foreign and domestic firms, and heighten emphasis on national organizational identities. These manifestations impact the MNE’s operations by limiting room for hybridization of dissimilar practices and routines, increasing the risk of discrimination and stereotyping by local audiences, and entrenching resistance to foreign ideas and practices among organizational members. We suggest that MNEs have three strategic choices in responding to nationalist sentiments: avoid their manifestations, mitigate their implications, or leverage nationalist sentiments to the MNE’s advantage. In sum, our framework provides a starting point for IB scholars to examine the strategic implications of nationalist sentiments for the MNE.

Idioma originalAnglès
RevistaJournal of International Business Studies
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióAcceptada/en premsa - 2024
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