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Title: French multinationals' international strategy : national identity under the effect of globalisation
Author: Mtar, Monia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3428 4302
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2001
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This study aims to demonstrate the existence of a French identity abroad and its influence upon firms' international modes of management. We thereby aim to test the hypothesis according to which, under the pressures of international markets, a process of uniformisation in firms' behaviour is taking place, which will lead to the inevitable decline of their nationality. In this study, we shall attempt to define a "mode of thinking' characteristic of French firms, and which will influence how managements react abroad. This is a new approach to examining the nationality effect in international firms, which will emphasise the links between firms' nationality and their ways of operating abroad. The 'culturalist' approach, which conceives of cultural values as immutable, cannot account for the evolution of firms' behaviour in the international arena. The 'institutionalist' approach, which focuses upon a number of firms in a given sector or examines sectoral, national and host factors in a small number of firms, does not take into account all the variables that can affect its conclusions, and thus cannot generalise its findings beyond the firms under study. In order to characterise a mode of thinking which is generalisable to all firms of a nation, it must be independent of all space and time parameters -or 'filters'. Therefore, the study is based upon a diverse sample of French multinationals -comprising eleven case studies, operating in a variety of sectors and having internationalised at different periods of time. We will examine companies' international strategies in a dynamic perspective, that is their initial strategies, their effective implementation, the difficulties experienced by firms, etc. This will be done by looking at how French firms have integrated their British acquisitions; the internationalisation of their corporate structures and modes of control; and finally, the development of an international human resources policy. The examination of French firms' international strategies will enable us to establish that there exists a French 'third way'. As a result of global market forces, French firms have acquired features of an international model of organisation and learnt from their British experience. But, paradoxically, French companies have retained a distinctive management style abroad. The French international management model is globally successful, because it has a capacity of adaptation and integration whilst being able to retain its identity. None the less, it has underlying problems, as it has difficulties implementing certain international questions of a strategic nature. We can thus conclude that the nationality of a managements impacts upon firms' behaviour abroad, and provides distinctive strengths and weaknesses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor