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Title: Images of the transnational corporation : sensemaking by German managers
Author: Litz, Stefan A.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis discusses images of the Transnational Corporation (TNC) based on Bartlett/Goshal's (1989; 1998) proposal to consider the TNC as a particular type of supranational business organizations. The thesis tackles the question: are TNCs perceived by people working for large supranational organizations to be conceptually distinctive from other types of such organizations. For this purpose, several semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers working in Germany for two large corporations, i.e. DaimlerChrysler and Accenture. Interviewees had been challenged to make sense of the idea that their corporation is considered to represent the TNC rather than any other type of supranational corporation. The results of these sensemaking processes (Weick 2000) are compared and contrasted with Bartlett/Goshal's (1989; 1998) conceptualization of the TNC. In addition to highlighting key characteristic attributes of the two companies featuring similarities with Bartlett/Goshal's (1989; 1998) conceptualization of the TNC, important differences have been outlined. The results triggered the development of a typology of subtypes of TNCs, which is proposed in this thesis as the result of conceptual generalization (Yin 2003) from the case studies. The thesis also highlights the differences between the TNC sub-types employing Ritzer's (2003; 2004) conceptual distinction of "grobalization" and "glocalization" processes and Hollingsworth (1991; 1996) distinction between monitoring and support networks. Finally, the thesis discusses Morgan/Kristensen's (2009) suggestion to employ the metaphor of the "court-society" (Elias 1983) in order to generate a particular image of the TNC with the two studied cases and the proposed typology of TNC sub-types.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available