Transnational corporations Assignment

Transnational corporations Assignment

The TNC assessment should be treated as a single piece of work with three distinct but related parts. A short general/overall introduction and conclusion will help to achieve this.

Part A

For the first part, you are required to extract the relevant data from the 2018 World Investment Report (including the appendix tables) and present it in a clear and concise summary form. The best way to do this is in a series of carefully/accurately labelled tables/charts/graphs selected as appropriate, each followed by a short paragraph or two explaining succinctly what the data in the table/chart/graph shows.

Do not cut and paste images or text from the report.

Note that you are not required to interpret the data or speculate on causes or reasons for the trends.

Part A is a straightforward task of data collection and presentation. It requires some care and precision but do not over complicate it! Cite sources as based on World Investment Report 2018.

Part B

Part B is more challenging, as you are required to critically evaluate internalisation theory and transnational monopoly capitalism theory as explanations for the growth of transnational corporations.

There are a number of ways to approach this but one is to set out clearly the main tenets of the body of theory (originating with Coase then Williamson – see Ietto-Gillies chapter 8 for a useful summary) and also based on Casson and Buckley and then ask yourself, what would the other perspective say was missing, flawed or inconsistent. You could then reverse the process and look at the second body of theory based on Marxist roots and developed by Baran and Sweezy cited in Sackery et al. and Cowling and Tomlinson in the same way; questioning it from the internalisation perspective.

Remember that critical evaluation implies consideration of the extent to which a theory explains what it purports to do (completeness). In this case, the degree to which each theory fully explains the growth/activities of TNCs. In addition, evaluation should consider the extent to which any theoretical explanation is free from contradictions (internally consistent).

The 1500 word count for this part is tight for this part and the use of academic footnotes (NOT Endnotes) is recommended to add value and manage the word count. (They are not part of the word count)

Footnotes allow material to be included which amplify or clarify points made in the main body of the essay, but which is not important enough to count towards the word limit. It also allows the writer to include a tangential point or aside of interest, which is not directly related to the question posed.

Note: Whilst most footnotes need referencing they should NOT be used as a method to cite references for other material in the main text.

Use footnotes judiciously, as appropriate, referenced using the Harvard method.  Do not over use.

To achieve good marks for this part, it is essential that you demonstrate engagement with the key recommended readings set out in Seminars 4 and 5. In particular papers by Casson, by Buckley by Sackrey et. al. and  by Cowling & Tomlinson. Also read Chapters 8 & 13 in Ietto-Gillies, which are also particularly useful. This part should be based on your reading of Ietto-Gillies and the papers provided in Supplementary readings 2 to maximise your marks.


Part C

For the final part you need to select one firm (McDonalds OR Jaguar Rover OR Amazon) and evaluate its impact on the UK economy using one of the four criteria (innovation OR labour OR trade OR political sovereignty).


This will require some empirical research but theoretical insights from the literature are also important. Whilst some initial investment, direct/indirect employment and trade/export numbers may be available, in other areas detailed data may not be readily accessible. However, other sources including reputable media reports might also be useful to indicate the validity or otherwise of theoretical concepts from the module.  Academic footnotes can also be useful in this part.


In addressing Part C, you should begin by consulting Part IV of the letto-Gillies text, which sets out concepts related to each of the criteria from which you can choose.

The various concepts for this part also feature in the various readings (including the four papers used for Part B) and depending on the criterion chosen include:

Innovation : Product innovation; process innovation; degree of embeddedness; absorptive capacity; spillover effects (Ietto-Gillies, Part IV particularly Chapter 17)


Labour : direct and indirect employment effects; wages/rewards; employee welfare; longevity of employment; strategic behaviour (in the case of NIDL) (Ietto-Gillies, Part IV particularly Chapter 18)


Trade: Intra-frim trade; inter-firm trade; resource-based production; market- orientated production; rationalised or integrated production, effects on Balance of Payments (Ietto-Gillies, Part IV particularly Chapter 19)


Political sovereignty: TNC versus state size; dominance versus mutual benefits; terms of market access; rules of conduct within jurisdiction; distribution issues (profits, tax yields and transfer pricing), effects on Balance of payments. (Ietto-Gillies Chapter 14 is useful but also the Sackery and Cowling/Tomlinson papers)

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