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Title: Foreign manufacturing investment in the European Union : the case of the Korean consumer electronics industry
Author: Park, Gi-Han
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis addresses the nature of foreign manufacturing investment of the Korean electronics industry in the European Union (EU). Although traditional theories on foreign direct investment provide a stringent analytical framework for understanding the rise of third world Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in general, they fail to explain the distinctive nature and defining characteristics of the dynamic process of the internationalisation of Korean electronics firms in developed country markets. As a consequence, this study is an attempt at providing a conceptual framework that helps explain the main forces that underpin the spatial dispersion of two of Korea's leading electronics firms - Samsung and Goldstar. Based on the internationalisation history of two these firms, this study states as its goals: i) to find out the determinants of the internationalisation process; and ii) to identify the nature of the process and its typical pattern. Drawing on a theoretical framework initially developed by Knickerbocker (1973), this study examines the systematic determinants of the internationalisation in industrialised markets by Samsung and Goldstar. In particular, it is shown that although these two firms are dominant players in the Korean market, they exhibit a 'follow the leader' pattern of internationalisation. More importantly, the study integrates into the internationalisation process such key concepts as Vernon's (1979) product life cycle theory, economies of scale and scope, value chain analysis and Gereffi's (1994) formulation of global commodity chains. Furthermore, the phenomenon of 'reverse investment' involving investment in developed country markets by firms from less developed countries is discussed within the conceptual framework of the internationalisation process. The study finds that four key factors affect Samsung's and Goldstar's internationalisation pattern. Among the major determinants of the process are internal capabilities or experience, threats to market security, and market opportunities. Along with these determinants, government policy has been found to be an important catalyst for Korean firms' internationalisation. It was also established that while the firms' growth ambitions are not a primary force for their internationalisation into industrialised markets, they do have some influence on the process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available