International Business in Southern Europe: Renault in Italy, Portugal and Spain, 1908-2007

Tomàs Fernández de Sevilla


According with Peter Buckley, Business history provides sources of testing for international business theory such as internalisation theory; the eclectic paradigm; the Uppasla internationalization process model; the evolutionary theory of the firm; and the resource-based view of the firm. For its part, Mira Wilkins has highlighted that an important contribution of business historians is to instil a recognition of complexity business enterprises as they emerge and mature, as managers and managerial directions change, and as the environment in which managers operate takes on different characteristics. As Julian Birkinshaw explains, in doing so MNEs can be used as the primary unit of analysis, considering that the MNE subsidiary has its own strategy and make effective use of its far-flung network. By using a Business History approach, the aim of this article is to study how Renault entered in Spain, Italy and Portugal, and how it has evolved its presence through time. This article shows that the development path of Renault subsidiaries in Southern Europe not only it has been determined in the headquarters of the MNEs, but also in subsidiaries own development of its organizational capabilities.


Business History; Multinationals; Subsidiaries; Southern Europe; Renault

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