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Politics and power within multinational corporations: Mainstream studies, emerging critical approaches and suggestions for future research

Geppert, M and Dörrenbächer, C (2014) Politics and power within multinational corporations: Mainstream studies, emerging critical approaches and suggestions for future research International Journal of Management Reviews.

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Abstract

Given the increased public interest in the use and misuse of power in multinationals in the aftermath of the financial crisis, it is notable that power relations in multinational corporations (MNCs) have not gained enhanced attention in the academic community. What is missing so far in the study of MNCs is a systematic examination of how power and politics within multinational corporations have been addressed in mainstream International Business (IB) and sociological research studying the MNC. Our paper starts off by critically reviewing these two mainstream approaches in the study of MNCs as organisations and seeking to understand the shortcomings of former research. Next, we review new emergent critical perspectives, which we call socio-political studies of MNCs, where power and politics are addressed not just more prominently but also differently, from a more bottom-up and actor-centred perspective. After reviewing this emergent stream of research, we propose that future studies should take a more micro-political perspective and focus in more detail on the micro-foundations of power relations. In our concluding section we show how future studies of MNCs can learn from both critical interactionist and discursive theories when analysing organisational politics and power relations. In our concluding section we propose a framework for the study of micro-level political game playing in MNCs, based on a three dimensional framework for organisational power (episodic, rules of the game and domination) and suggest some key research questions for future studies.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Geppert, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dörrenbächer, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2014
Identification Number : 10.1111/ijmr.12018
Additional Information : The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Jun 2013 13:35
Last Modified : 28 Mar 2017 13:48
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/787271

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