Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Business in Britain in the Twentieth CenturyDecline and Renaissance?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard Coopey and Peter Lyth

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226009.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 13 December 2018

From a Solution to a Problem? Overseas Multinationals in Britain during Economic Decline and Renaissance

From a Solution to a Problem? Overseas Multinationals in Britain during Economic Decline and Renaissance

(p.116) Chapter 6 From a Solution to a Problem? Overseas Multinationals in Britain during Economic Decline and Renaissance
Business in Britain in the Twentieth Century

Peter Scott

Oxford University Press

Foreign-owned enterprises have long played a particularly important role in the British economy, particularly in manufacturing. Concentrated in high-growth sectors, they were widely viewed as having superior attributes to domestic incumbents regarding a broad range of managerial competencies which, policy-makers hoped, might diffuse to British firms. This chapter reviews the role and impact of overseas multinationals in Britain over the 20th century, in the context of changing perceptions regarding Britain's relative competitiveness. In the era of Britain's relative economic decline, the success of overseas multinationals on UK soil appeared to challenge simplistic neoclassical explanations of slow British growth — framed in terms of unsuitable factor costs or market conditions for mass production. While multinationals generally failed to achieve the productivity performance of their parent plants (a phenomenon typical of multinationals the world over) they nevertheless performed markedly better than British firms which — according to such arguments — had production techniques more suited to British conditions. Yet, while the British economy has improved its relative performance over the past twenty five years, analyses of the net impacts of inward investment have become much more pessimistic. The chapter seeks to explain this apparent decline in the magnitude of positive ‘spin offs’ from inward investment, during a period when Britain has enjoyed renewed vitality and the technological (and, perhaps, managerial) gap between UK industries and international best practice has narrowed.

Keywords:   multinationals, foreign direct investment, ownership advantages, technological diffusion

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .