Faulconbridge, James R. (2010) TNCs as embedded social communities : transdisciplinary perspectives. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 6 (4). pp. 273-290. ISSN 1742-2043
Purpose: In this paper I explore the value of transdisciplinary dialogues for advancing critical perspectives on international business. Specifically, I consider how conceptualisations of transnational corporations as embedded social communities can be advanced through dialogues and collaborations between two broadly defined scholarly communities, economic geographers and organizational sociologists. Approach: The paper is conceptual and reviews existing work by economic geographers and organizational sociologists useful for studying transnational corporations. Specifically the paper considers how economic geographers’ work on the affects of institutions on firms can be brought together with organizational sociologists’ work on identity regulation to generate new lines of enquiry about the role of transnational identity regulation in firms. Findings: It is shown that pragmatic rather than adversarial dialogues can overcome the limitations of disciplinary approaches and develop new questions about, and more sophisticated studies of, international business and transnational corporations, as long as the inherent dangers of transdisciplinary working are recognised and avoided. Originality: The paper takes a different approach to existing discussions of the value of transdisciplinary collaboration for studying international business, explicitly advocating a pragmatic approach that involves collaboration between researchers from related paradigms so as to generate new questions for research rather than an approach that involves critique and counter-critique of work from starkly contrasting research paradigms.
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