Business History and International Business are cognate subjects. There are few, if any, studies of international business that do not require a proper study of context. International business decision making must be made relevant by a considered evaluation of the circumstances surrounding that decision. This often means putting it into its historical context. The contributions that the study of international business can make to business history are the input of appropriate theory and appropriate research methods. The best international business theory can illuminate the seemingly disparate strategies of firms in given historical circumstances and can provide an integrated, overarching conceptual structure of the study of business history. The research methods used in international business are also worthy of scrutiny by business historians.
The proposition of this book is that international business theory and method can complement business history. This cross-fertilization has been occurring with increasing regularity over the past few decades and this book brings together some of the fruits of this conjunction of two important intellectual domains.
This book was published as a special issue of Business History.
1. Introduction: Business history and international business Peter J. Buckley 2. Multinational enterprise in insurance: An historical overview Mira Wilkins 3. Siegmund Warburg, the City of London and the financial roots of European integration Niall Ferguson 4. Revisiting the psychic distance paradox: International retailing in China in the long run (1840–2005) Haiming Hang and Andrew Godley 5. The multinational enterprise and subsidiary evolution: Scotland since 1945 Pavlos Dimitratos, Ioanna Liouka, Duncan Ross and Stephen Young 6. Resolving the global efficiency versus local adaptability dilemma: US film multinationals in their largest foreign market in the 1930s and 1940s Peter Miskell 7. The internationalisation process theory and the internationalisation of Norwegian firms, 1945 to 1980 Rolv Petter Amdam 8. A silent revolution: The internationalisation of large Spanish family firms Nuria Puig and Paloma Fernández Pérez 9. British overseas railways as free-standing companies, 1900–1915 David Boughey