Proposal preview

History of International Business Relations (HIBR) in Technology, Patents, and Innovation

The most valuable analytical approach to understanding global economics today is to examine multinational enterprises (MNEs). MNEs expand business by increasing the movement of human resources, product and capital across national boundaries, resulting in closer economic ties between countries. On the other hand, when we analyze the influence and activities of MNEs that are propelling globalization, nationality is still significant. According to Geoffrey Jones, the strategies and organizational structures of MNEs still reflect the characteristics of their respective home economies. Observations of this kind emphasize national features in the development of businesses. From the end of the nineteenth century, the course of globalization led by business, has demonstrated both global and national features. It is imperative that we examine these two features delineating the evolution of business to understand globalization.
The history of MNEs is the principal academic field devoted to the study of the evolution of global business from a historical perspective. Many works focused on the significance of direct investments abroad, bringing to light the historicity of global economics today. However, questions such why nationality is important and what kinds of differences arise with nationality have still not been adequately dealt with. Doubtless a corporation that develops its business across national borders does so with the intent of strengthening its global character. But does this mean that a completely national company can take on a global persona simply by moving across borders? Prior to becoming globalized, could an enterprise be seen as one purely shaped by national forces?
Such a national enterprise has, in fact, already been informed and developed as a global entity prior to investing abroad. The field of the History of International Business Relations (HIBR), which was advocated in Japan, focuses on the international moments in a company’s development. It is not merely the study of MNEs, it is a discussion of how international business relations impacted management and left its mark on industrialization and management in specific countries. This discussion further highlights conflicts between national and global influences. It raises questions as to why global enterprises retain a diversity of national traits in behavior and performance, no matter how world-wide their activities, and why they cannot easily divest themselves of those national traits.
This session attempts to clarify how globalization has developed from the HIBR perspective. Especially this session focuses on the aspect of technology, patents, and innovation in the globalization process, and examines the role of international technology transfer, patent exchange and patent management, global interactions of research and development. Papers which deal, especially with electrical equipment, chemical, and manufacturing industries of US, Europe, and Asian countries will be organized. Papers on other industries and other countries can be included.


  • Shigehiro Nishimura, Kansai University,, Japan

Session members

  • Shigehiro Nishimura, Kansai University,
  • Pierre-Yves Donzé, Osaka Universiy,
  • Fredrik Tell, Uppsala University,
  • David Andersson, Uppsala University,
  • Matti La Mela, Aalto University,
  • Gabriel Galvez-Behar, Université Lille 3,
  • Yoko Tanaka, Tsukuba University,
  • Hiromichi Hasebe, Kyorin University,
  • Gloria Sanz Lafuente, Universidad Pública de Navarra,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Alessandro Nuvolari, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies,