A cooperation with the Department of Business and Economics Research Workshop (Forschungswerkstatt).
In her talk, Christel Lane (Cambridge University) investigates what impact globally integrated multinational corporations (MNCs) have had on two coordinated market economies, Germany and Japan. This involves looking at domestic companies’ economic and financial integration into the global economy and then gauging the effects of this on the degree of domestic disembedding and the way this affects labor.
The Varieties of Capitalism thesis holds that the way firms coordinate their relations with other economic actors is strongly shaped by the social institutional environment in which they are embedded and that this, in turn, molds their comparative advantage. Furthermore, the various institutions are interdependent and complementary, in that institutions in one functional domain influence outcomes in another.
Given institutional embeddedness and complementarity, national models then develop in path-dependent ways and are not vulnerable to far-reaching transformation due to either external and internal impacts. Hall and Soskice (2001) explicitly rule out that globalization would change modes of coordination and undermine distinctive models. To the contrary, adaptation to global influences would occur in path-dependent ways, and specialization in particular patterns of coordination and performance would even become more, rather than less pronounced. It follows from this view that multinational companies remain domestically embedded and do not become placelesss transnational companies, nor are they likely to fundamentally change their internal distribution of value and power.
This talk argues that the main agents and drivers of economic and financial globalization, large MNCs, are beginning to undermine the distinctiveness particularly of coordinated market economies, by facilitating various processes of disembedding.