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"IS IT ALL A MATTER OF GROUPING? EXAMINING THE REGIONAL EFFECT IN GLOBAL STRATEGY RESEARCH*"

Ruth V. Aguilera, Ricardo G. Flores, and Paul M. Vaaler

 

First Author :

Ruth V. Aguilera
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business
1206 S. Sixth Street, 350 Wohlers Hall, MC 706
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

217-333-7090
217-244-7969 (Fax)

ruth-agu@uiuc.edu

http://www.business.uiuc.edu/faculty/aguilera.html


Second Author :

Ricardo G. Flores
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business
1206 S. Sixth Street, 350 Wohlers Hall, MC 706
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

217-244-7969 (Fax)

rgflores@uiuc.edu


Third Author :

Paul M. Vaaler
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business
1206 S. Sixth Street, Room 350 Wohlers Hall, MC 706
Champaign, IL 61820
USA

217-333-4504
217-244-7969 (Fax)

pvaaler@uiuc.edu

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Abstract :
 
Over the past decades terms such as regionalism, regionalization, ‘regional multinationals’, and ‘liability of regional foreignness’ have populated International Business and Global Strategy research. Notwithstanding their popularity, the definition of the term ‘region’ is ambiguous, which results in a lack of systematic use in research as well as in the insights generated from this construct. How can one define ‘region’? Can the same regional category be used for research projects with completely different goals? Will drawing on different definitions of regional categories lead to different results and conclusions? We tackle these issues by first reviewing how social science research has defined region as well as how the construct has been used in global strategy research. Then we discuss, as an exemplification of the multiple definitions of region, how different regional categorizations paint different pictures of the degree to which US multinational firms have become more global or regional in the last two decades. We conclude with some insights on the next steps that global strategy should take when using the construct of region.
 
 
Keywords :
 
MNCs’ foreign location choices, Regionalization vs. Globalization, Regions
 
 
Footnotes & Acknowledgements :
 
*Please contact Ruth V. Aguilera regarding this paper, which is forthcoming later in 2007 as a book chapter in International Strategic Management: A New Generation, Stephen Tallman, ed., Edward Elgar Publishers: Northampton, MA.
 
 
Manuscript Received : 2007
Manuscript Published : February 15, 2007
 
 
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