Internationalization of big firms in two Southern European nations. Italy and Spain, 1950-2002


  • Veronica Binda Università Bocconi



Internationalization, Big Firms, Italy, Spain


This article investigates the diffusion of the internationalization strategy among the largest enterprises in two Southern European nations – Italy and Spain – during the second half of the Twentieth century. The findings of the empirical analysis prove that in both nations big business became more internationalized during the last decades, even if following quite different patterns in Italy and Spain due to a different historical context. Both in Italy and Spain an increasing number of sectors and kind of owners decided to go abroad thorugh exports and investments, and very often the firms which decided to adopt a strategy of internationalization were also very diversified companies.
Nevertheless in many cases the internationalization process did not significantly change the organizational structures of the firms, that up to recent years were quite reluctant in adopting the M-form and remained organized as holding or functional/holding.


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