MNEmerge Newsletter May 2014

MNEmerge – Exploring the role of multinational enterprises in addressing global development challenges

MNEmerge project aims to provide a comprehensive framework for understanding the impact of multinational enterprises on United Nations Millennium Development Goals in developing countries using case studies, quantitative data as well as policy analysis. The project will examine the impact of MNEs on local development and poverty reduction in developing countries and provide recommendations for firm strategy and state policy. The project includes field research in three developing countries, Brazil, Ghana and India.

The four broad objectives of the project are:

  1. Developing a comprehensive framework to analyse the impacts of MNEs towards socio-economic development;
  2. Developing a model that describes the relationships between MNEs, FDI and the economy;
  3. Performing case studies and quantitative analysis to verify the developed model;
  4. Analysing the role of public policies in supporting responsible business practices and the Millennium Development Goals.

The duration of the project is 3 years, starting from January 2014. MNEmerge has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under Grant Agreement No. 612889.

MNEmerge research proceeding

The creation of the framework analysing the impacts of MNEs towards socio-economic development and its validation using a literature review are currently progressing well. The framework is scheduled to be published by November 2014 and will be used as a basis for the individual case studies in Brazil, Ghana and India. The first interviews have also been conducted. For instance, Research Officer Jun Hou from the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD) of the University of Oxford has recently conducted an interview with the Deputy Manager of Huawei Ltd Ghana. Their conversations were centred on foreign direct investment strategies of the company. In addition, they conducted some discussions about how collaborative activities with local firms could potentially foster knowledge diffusion and eventually help domestic economic development.

MNEmerge research area found important in a conference in Mexico

MNEmerge project was presented at the Honorable Merchant in International Marketing conference (2014 AMA Annual Conference – Global Marketing Special Interest Group) in Mexico in April 2014. The conference included a specific workshop the Impact of MNEs on Global Development Challenges dedicated to the theme of the MNEmerge project. The workshop was led by Dr. Suraksha Gupta from Brunel University.

The participants of the workshop recognised the research area of MNEmerge to be very important and contemporary for international trade, particularly from the multinational enterprises’ point of view. Dr. Gupta’s presentation engaged the audience into discussions about topics relevant to the MNEmerge project. For instance, corruption was raised as an important additional issue that could be addressed by the project. Furthermore, the importance of creating awareness of the activities of MNEs among the poorest population group was brought up by the participants of the workshop. It was recognised that although the poorest population group is well versed in and well informed about the products offered by MNEs and the usage of these products, it is still not known how media can be used to make this population vigilant about the activities of MNEs. As MNEs are reluctant to spend their marketing budgets on creating awareness of people about policing their activities, who is going to work towards creating this kind of awareness?

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